Monitor recognizes the importance of the Community engagement as an integral part of our exploration programme in Namibia.
It is our goal to establish a long-term relationship with the community leaders and residents throughout the life-time of our work in the country.
As part of this commitment, in March 2022 Robin Sutherland from Monitor traveled to Namibia to take active part in three (3) meetings across the Owambo area: with regional councillors, local councillors and two (2) open workshops with headmen and community members.
A key objective is to provide a non-technical educative display of the planned field work within the region and comprehend people’s perturbances.
At this stage of our programme, where Monitor is undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment to proceed with 2D acquisition, the most common concern is related to seismic lines passing through people’s private properly, such as houses, gardens, and the negative impact of it.
Fears are addressed in the appropriate manner, and we intend to reassure the population that no house will be entered into, and a safe distance will be kept.
For every line we design, we shall consult the local people’s leaders, share our plans and secure their consent.
The community meeting were held in areas of Omuthiya, Guinas, Omuthiya, Oshikoto, Omboto and Onamuishu, all within the Oshikoto Region. The local populatoin showed genuine interest in the subject.
Some of the questions raised from the people:
- How will water pollution be avoided durign oil and gas exploration?
- Will farmers benefit from oil discovery?
- In case of discovery, will people be rellocated from their resettlement farms?
- What will happen to our houses should the 2D seismic lines cut across them?
- What happens to the fences during the 2D seismic survey?
- Can helium also be found?
- Could females also benefit from potential jobs?
- Is there a possibility for Regional Council to be part of the shareholding?
- What could future prospects mean for the country, should the oil industry be successful?
- What strategies are there to rehabilitate the area?
- How will pollution (oil spill) be controlled?
- The notion that ‘oil is a curse’ is well known with the effect felt in other oil nations, should there be a discovery in Namibia, will it not bring about political instability?