Khwedom Council, a Basarwa advocacy group has welcomed government’s pledge to recall a couple of prospecting licenses mainly for gas that were issued to companies for exploration inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Keikadile Mogodu, pointed out it was wrong to issue the licenses from the beginning especially those that are suspected to have conducted illegal fracking in the environmentally sensitive area.
The move comes at a time when CKGR and fracking are hot topics around the world where government is berated for forcibly removing the Basarwa and later sanctioning mining activities and issues of several prospecting licenses for gas and diamonds mainly.
“Even where the technology originates from in the state of Colorado, the USA it is a well known thing that fracking is very destructive as it even disturbs water table and environment in general so we did not need it at all,” he said.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Minerals and Water Resources, Nchidzi Mmolawa, said in The Telegraph this week that they are recalling the licences after companies that were given licence to explore gas had failed to abide by regulations.
“We had given one of the local company a prospecting licence where the company later started selling the prospecting licences to other companies. This resulted in the government taking a move to recall the licences,” Mmolawa revealed.
Mmolawa revealed that the government was concerned that some of these companies were not exploring for gas after being given licence.
“Fracking was done at the expense of our environment as it was going to destroy our environment whilst we as Basarwa and inhabitants of the CKGR gets nothing in return”, complained Mogodu.
He argued that licensing of those companies to do fracking in CKGR was another move aimed at driving the Basarwa out of the CKGR as fracking was going to destroy both the water table and environment.
“We were not going to benefit from fracking at all. Only the rich people owning fracking companies were going to benefit”, he stressed.