Thousands of African elephants threatened by the construction of a huge new oil field between Namibia and Botswana. Today there are fewer than 450 thousand specimens that survive in Africa, compared to millions of not so long ago: 130 thousand of these have chosen the region where it was decided to build the field as a home.
This is the ReconAfrica project that would put the species even more at risk. According the newspaper Guardian, about ReconAfrica Canadian oil and gas company has, in fact, rented more than 34,000 square kilometers of land in the Okavango River basin, endangering the survival of animals and the population in the Okavango Delta.
People who have not been consulted about the possible construction of a field. Upon hearing the news from the radio and social media, they fear being forced to leave their homes. Not only that, in recent months more than three hundred elephants have been found dead in the area.
And forest authorities point the finger at some natural toxins that produce poison, particularly in standing water.
130,000 elephants at risk for the construction of oil wells
The Namibian government has said that only exploration licenses have been granted so far, pointing out that the research sites were not located in any conservation areas, and will not have any significant impact on wildlife.
Scientists, environmentalists and local communities say that the project could jeopardize the area’s water reserves, already critical, and threaten the Okavango Delta in Botswana, a World Heritage Site. International Energy Agency made it clear that it is necessary to abandon the idea of exploiting new oil and gas fields.
Only in this way will the zero emissions target by 2050 and the possibility of containing the global temperature increase by 1.5 degrees be realized. Experts have made it clear that the extraction of billions of barrels of fossil fuels from a giant new oil field in Africa would directly contradict this goal, with potentially disastrous consequences for the climate emergency.
Nnimmo Bassey, director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation and president of Oilwatch Africa, said: "Every element of this project, from building new roads to drilling sites to refineries, will devastate the ecosystem and local communities that depend on it for agriculture and fisheries."