Oil-and-gas exploration in Namibia
The first of a planned 22 potable, solar-powered water wells to be drilled and donated by ReconAfrica to communities in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions of Namibia in 2021/2022. Photo courtesy of ReconAfrica.

The traditional authorities of Kavango East and Kavango West have confirmed their support of the oil-and-gas exploration programme in Namibia by Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd (ReconAfrica).

At a meeting last week in Namibia, the leaders of the five key traditional authorities of Kavango East and Kavango West expressed confidence that ReconAfrica’s ongoing oil-and-gas exploration programme, which has to date identified a conventional oil and gas system in the Kavango Sedimentary Basin, could provide Namibia with a new-found source of socio-economic opportunity if commercialised.

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Chairperson of the Kavango Traditional Authority Committee, Hompa Eugene Siwombe said that ReconAfrica’s exploration programme in the region is more than welcome by the communities and lauded the company’s efforts to support the economic and environmental aspirations of the country.

“Everyone is happy with the way ReconAfrica is doing the exploration. This is what we want – the liberation struggle is gone. It is now time for economic freedom. We want exploration, to know what is under the ground,” said Siwombe.

Siwombe also recognised ReconAfrica’s commitment to communities, which includes the drilling and donation of a planned 22 potable, solar-powered water wells, 14 of which have already been completed and turned over to communities.

“We are indeed very thankful for the water wells as they have made the lives of our people in the Kavango regions better,” said Siwombe.

Siwombe’s comments were echoed by King Hambukushu Fumu Erwin Munika Mbambo, who indicated outside opposition to ReconAfrica’s project is unwarranted.

King Erwin Munika Mbambo at the leadership meeting on 19 October in the traditional authority of Hambukushu, Namibia. Photo provided by ReconAfrica.

“We are expressing our support because we, as traditional leaders, are the ones on the ground and see what is really happening, not people sitting in their distant offices trying to decide what should be done,” said King Mbambo.

At the meeting, it was decided that a leader of the traditional authorities would join ReconAfrica and other affected stakeholders on a committee to ensure collaboration and dialogue as the company’s oil-and-gas exploration project proceeds. The governor of Kavango East, Bonifatius Wakudumo and Kavango West, Sirkka Ausiku, also attended the meeting and reaffirmed their support for ReconAfrica’s exploration programme.

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ReconAfrica, in collaboration with the government of the Republic of Namibia, set out this year with a stratigraphic drilling programme to prove there is an active conventional petroleum system in the Kavango Sedimentary Basin. To date, the company has completed two stratigraphic drilling programmes and a low-impact, 2D seismic project. While seismic analysis is still in progress, the released data analysis from the two stratigraphic wells confirms there is an active conventional petroleum system, with multiple potential reservoir zones within the basin.

Scot Evans, Chief Executive Officer of ReconAfrica, welcomed the support of the traditional authorities and noted that the company is exploring in the region at the invitation of the national government of the Republic of Namibia. He emphasised that the management and development of Namibia’s resources will be “determined by the people of Namibia – through their traditional authorities, elected governments and regulatory agencies.”

“ReconAfrica has been working collaboratively with governments, traditional authorities and communities of Namibia since 2019,” said Evans. “We are grateful for the support and trust we have earned over this period, and we are committed to retaining the confidence of Namibia as we move forward, together, to explore the vast potential of the Kavango Sedimentary Basin, which may ultimately lead to a new source of prosperity for the country. Our goal is to ensure ReconAfrica is a positive contributor to Namibia in all ways – environmentally, socially and economically.”