Don’t sell Dorob
Before Cabinet grants permission to Gecko to buy part of a National Park, the public must be assured that our leaders have carefully considered many issues:
1 Will such approval also include approval for the whole Gecko heavy industrial project to proceed very close to the tourism destination town of Swakopmund, and to the unpolluted ocean?
2 If yes, then what conditions have been stipulated for the entire Gecko project, including its marine phosphate operation, to comply with before any construction or mining may commence?
3 Has Cabinet been presented with, and approved, a full and exhaustive socio-economic and environmental scoping study for all the components of the Gecko project, including its marine phosphate mining operation which is a kingpin for the whole project?
4 If yes, has the Government cleared such study as being in compliance with all Namibian legislation and statutory requirements?
5 If the answer to the last question is in the negative, then Cabinet may not have been presented with the full picture. Cabinet’s decision should not rest on inadequate information relating only to economic projections that were provided by the proponent.
6 An Inter-Ministerial committee was reported to have determined that the project is economically viable. However of overriding importance to Namibia is the project’s socio-economic and environmental viability – which are highly questionable. In particular, clear answers must be given regarding employment of Namibians, and clear answers must be given regarding the disposal of the enormous amounts of dangerous waste that will be generated by the proposed and future planned industries in this park.
7 Has the Government directly compared the economic value of two of Namibia’s cornerstone industries: tourism and fisheries, and projected the losses that would occur to these industries should the Gecko project proceed at the proposed site?