Through months of advocacy against extraction from Recon Africa of the Kavango Basin for the exploration of oil and gas, Namibian activists are urging for the public to intervene and send an email to Namibian President H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob to save the Okavango Delta from the threat of oil exploration in the environmentally sensitive area, Kavango Basin.
The basin largely covers Northern Namibia, Botswana and the southern region of Angola, while hosts a myriad of flora, fauna and an ecosystem including one of the world’s remaining intact wetlands, The Okavango Delta. In January, news that oil and gas exploration company, ReconAfrica has commenced their drilling program.
This news led to youth climate activists in Namibia’s Capital Windhoek reacting with international calls to prevent potential long term catastrophic effects of extracting oil in the region. Friday’s for Future (FFF) Windhoek has created two petitions: one a letter to the president, and another petition to keep the oil industry away from the ecological area.
So far, activists have received resistance from state and institutional actors on their public call. “They call anyone who stands up to their plan a hooligan. They’ve even called me a white environmentalist with an agenda – as if we, black people, do not care about ourselves or our environment,” said Shikongo. “We have to prove them wrong. All Africans must take a stand and tell the Namibian president to do what is best for us and not these industries that use us.”
With over 150 000 signatures for the petition, and close to 680 of the 800 needed signed letters to the President, youth activists from Friday’s for future Windhoek are calling out for more public intervention from African’s beyond borders.“The oil needs to stay in the ground,” said Ina-Maria Shikongo, a Fridays for Future (FFF) activist in Windhoek. “The exploitation would be a catastrophe – not only for the global climate, but also for wildlife, water resources and the livelihoods of local people” she added.