Faith leaders hold silent protest to say “Stop the drilling in Kavango”




Faith leaders from the Anglican, Lutheran and Unitarian Churches gathered on the steps of St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town to protest the drilling which has commenced in Namibia

Inspired by the Bishop of Namibia, Rt Revd Luke Pato, who brought the concerns to the broader faith community, they protested the drilling by Canadian Company ReConAfrica in Northern Namibia.

The following concerns were raised

  1. The potential impact on the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Okavango Delta which could be impacted by drilling operations in the kavango Basin. The region is a World Heritage and Ramsar Wetlands Site, and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa
  2. The rights of San indigenous people. Drilling in these areas will disrupt the culture and ancestral heritage protected under UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People
  3. Namibia is the driest country south of the Sahara. There are serious concerns about Recon’s planned “unconventional drilling”
  4. Climate change. Namibia is one of the countries of the world most impacted by Climate Change. According to ReConAfrica the oil generated “could be billions of barrels”, the ‘biggest oil play of the decade”. With almost unrivalled solar energy potential, Namibia should be supported by the international community to develop solar energy
  5. Inadequate public participation process. The EIA submitted by ReconAfrica does not comply with strict Namibian Government regulations
  6. Moral and Spiritual concerns. Reconafrica calls drilling in the Kavango basin ‘pretty much a no-brainer” we call it a sin. To destroy eco-systems and trample the rights of indigenous people is wicked

The protest formed part of a global day of climate action called #sacredpeoplesacredearth

Speakers and prayers included Bishop Joshua Louw, Diocese of Cape Town, Rev Gordon Oliver, unitarian Church, Bishop Geoff Davies , patron SAFCEI, Kate Davies- SAFCEI, Margie Pretorius : Sustaining the Wild Coast, Rev Rachel Mash, Green Anglicans, Bino Makalanyane Green Anglicans , JP Roberts Green Anglicans, Pastor W. Schwär, Evangelical Lutheran Church and Celeste, Unitarian Church

The protest was supported by other organisations such as SOUL and Extinction Rebellion.

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