Divide over uranium mining at Stampriet

Farmers are divided over the exploration of uranium in the Stampriet Aquifer, as some believe the process will contaminate underground water.

The exploration, which is supposed to be carried out by Uranium One in the Aminuis and Leonardville area, has sparked mixed feelings among residents in the area.

This was revealed during a parliament standing committee on natural resources’ visit to deliberate on concerns on Friday in Leonardville, within the Aminuis Constituency in the Omaheke Region.

During the visit, Tjekero Tweya, the committee’s chairperson, highlighted that his committee had come to the concerned communities and farmers to listen to them before making recommendations to parliament.

‘We have come to hear you out, discuss issues as adults, and as responsible citizens. Parliament will make a decision that will affect everyone. We will not make the decision here today; we will collect your concerns and also endeavour to find solutions based on your recommendations. We didn’t want to defer this di
scussion to next year because we want to understand your concerns and collaborate on finding solutions for the benefit of all of us,’ Tweya indicated.

Former member of Parliament, Atti Riruako, urged the parliament’s standing committee to seek information from independent experts and compare it with the experts used by those who oppose the exploration before making any recommendations to parliament.

‘I urge you to seek scientific knowledge before proceeding with this exploration. We are concerned about the contamination of underground water, and this concern stems from research conducted by many other experts globally regarding uranium mining,’ said Riruako.

Petra Witbooi, the chairperson of the Leonardville village council, stated that people had criticised those opposing the exploration, noting that residents in her town are experiencing hunger and require employment and food.

‘Some claim that Uranium One is providing us with food parcels to obtain approval for their exploration, but that is not true. W
e are hungry and dismayed by that,’ she highlighted.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency