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The Minister of Mines and Energy says Namibia complies with environmental laws in the process of oil and gas exploration.

Tom Alweendo was responding to questions about environmental destruction during exploration at the Namibia International Energy Conference in Windhoek.

Minister Alweendo says those who speak about environmental destruction are always speaking from their comfort zone without knowing the reality on the ground.

While adhering to environmental laws, the country, he says, seeks to better the lives of its people through the discovery of oil and gas.

"People who will actually argue to say don't do this because we're going to damage the environment are people who normally speak from their own comfort zones. People who have a better livelihood than others are, therefore more comfortable. But when I have poor citizens, when I have hungry citizens, then I have people who do not have hospitals, people who don't have proper schooling facilities. Is it really that bad for me to develop this resource in such a way that I can resolve some of these challenges and provide a livelihood to the people? So I was tasked with saying that yes, we do this with an environmental framework that we have, but to be told that we shouldn't do this because we are going to damage the environment. We simply say no; that's not real."

Alweendo further says that a lack of skills in the country in the oil and gas sector should not be used as an excuse. 

The time is now to develop the skills needed and work together with investors, he added.

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Photo Credits
NIE Conference

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Author
Selima Henock