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Botswana to allow drilling and fracking at KTP

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It is very depressing but no different to the UK government and its antics trying to get tracking going in national parks or indeed anywhere!

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Botswana's government also has fracking plans for the Kalahari. They kicked out the San Bushmen because of their supposed negative effect on wildlife, yet they allow fracking operations and infrastructure? What rubbish!

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Posted (edited)

As a Motswana, I am appalled. I fully agree with my government wanting to inventory our resources, but to allow commercial exploitation, which seems to be the case here, is embarrassing. At a recent speech to 130 travel agents, media and local operators, our Honourable Minister pledged to protect the environment as it has emerged as our most important economic sector in the evolving economy. Then this report comes out....oops! In his defence the article does say that the park officials (who report to the ministry) were ignorant of the fracking. However high level ignorance is probably worse than complicity.

Edited by LastChanceSafaris

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@LastChanceSafaris:

 

As a Motswanan, perhaps you could tell me whether a recent UK newspaper article I read had any validity? This stated that that the Botswanan diamond industry was in terminal decline such that the relatively high living standards of the country's population was likely to plummet.

 

Your post, implying that wildlife tourism had emerged as the "most important economic sector in the evolving economy" might give credence to the view that the economy is now reaching a dire state. It is, perhaps, unsurprising, therefore, that your government is considering alternative means of safeguarding its citizens' welfare. Perhaps, it would be politic to address ways in which fracking might best co-exist with wildlife rather than to condemn the former activity out of hand.

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We enter a new debate together @@douglaswise...

 

Our mining sector is on a decline, but only as a factor of global recession. Diamonds are the mainstay, yet they are a luxury item and consequently suffer most from recession. As to being terminal, well yes. The resource is finite and so the government is looking to diversify. That said, there are apparently reserves that haven't even been tapped yet. The gem will remain our biggest forex earner for quite a few decades to come, particularly now that Botswana is a wholesaler as well as a producer. BTW we just pulled out the second largest diamond on record after the Cullinan diamond - a whopping 1,111 carats an the biggest found in more than a 100 years!

 

The living standards of Batswana are in fact continuing to increase year on year. Infrastructure development has never been better and social indicators like education and health continue to improve. Sounds like Utopia?? Well it is .... nearly. We have our problems but they are mostly outweighed by the good stuff going on.

 

Tourism is now the biggest employer after government and this, along with its forex earnings, makes it the biggest contributer to the GDP and therefore the economy. As a sustainable resource the govt is putting tremendous effort and investment in it. This is what makes the fracking issue so unbelievable. The search for energy is not the issue, rather the responsibility surrounding the extraction process. If the offending article is to be believed that responsibility has already been shirked by leaving pollution evidence. Fracking is water hungry and the kalahari is a desert where ANY water reserves need to have the same protection as our diamonds. We are not that energy starved that we need to put our most precious sustainable resource at any sort of risk.

 

FYI trivia. A citizen of Botswana is known as a Motswana with Batswana being the plural - we do not use the -an suffix. Weird I know.

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We all support a nation developing alternative sources of energy, but is simply illegal and immoral to carry out fracking in a national park. I would expect much better from Botswana's current government, especially after my three trips there. Botswana has had a superb record on the environment.

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Botswana's record on the environment is indeed a great example to many others. Exploiting national resources is a right but there must be a clear definition of how it is to be done and to ensure that it doesn't conflict with existing contributors to the economy. I'm ignorant of the amount of shale gas that could be extracted but the environmental consequences have been well documented and the question is whether the aim for a short term buck will balance against the protection of the wildlife resource that can be sustainably managed for future generations.

 

The amount of water needed to frack in a land of drought is really quite scary...

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Latest Govt Update:

 

BWgovernment

5 December at 14:45 ·

RE: REPORT ON ALLEGED FRACKING IN THE KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK

Tamboran Botswana (Proprietary) Limited has been granted prospecting license no. 001/2012 to explore for natural gas/petroleum over an area of 53 554.4km² spanning Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Districts by the Government of Botswana. The area covers part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The prospecting licence is valid for the period 1st January 2012 to the 31 December 2015. A renewal application has been submitted to the Department of Mines and is being evaluated. Part of the application is a proposal for the relinquishment of an area of 26, 821 km², 50.1% of the current prospecting area.

The company has completed the desktop studies and is currently undertaking drilling activities OUTSIDE of the National park. The company is core drilling (not fracking) two boreholes to the west and south of Hukuntsi village. The drilling activities are due for completion by end of 2015.

A permit has been issued to Tamboran to enter the National Park for the period 1st December to 31st December 2015 for the sole purpose of fetching drinking water at a borehole just inside the park.

Communication from the Ministry of Mineral, Energy and Water Resources in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, wildlife and Tourism.

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You beat me to it @@Chobe Clive !

This is stock standard comment. Not sure how it explains pollution evidence left at drilling site INSIDE the KTFP.

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@@LastChanceSafaris - Oil leak when they went to fetch water? They probably were using landrovers.

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