Published on November 23rd, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


World’s Second-Largest Wildlife Preserve Gets Totally Fracked!

November 23rd, 2013 by  

Yes, that last word could be changed to a similarly sounding one, as this article reposted from Climate Progress shows:

botswana wildlife preserve

By Andrew Breiner

Botswana has been getting fracked for years without the public knowing, even in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, ancestral home of the San people and second-largest wildlife reserve in the world.

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)’s film, The High Cost Of Cheap Gas, contains footage of fracking equipment and energy company employees describing their work as “fracking”. A news release on Kalahari Energy’s website talks about hydraulic fracturing operations in Botswana that began as early as 2009 to extract coal bed methane. And a 2005 post on the site found by the Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis talks about the construction of water evaporation ponds “for hydraulic fracturing of the wells.”

government map of oil and gas concessions indicate the coal bed methane concessions exist in the Cental Kalahari Game Reserve, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and the Chobe National Park, home to the world’s largest herd of elephants.

Keikabile Mogodu, a San rights advocate, told The Guardian that nobody had heard anything from companies or the government about fracking on San land. “We are in the dark,” he said. “If fracking is done in the areas where people are, consultations should be done.” Botswana President Ian Khama’s government has been fighting in court to keep San people from returning to their land, and it seems this may be why.

Extracting coal-bed methane is a particular problem for Botswana, which is currently in the midst of a historic drought and massive crop failure. Fracking is highly water-intensive. In New Mexico, drought-stricken as well, drilling operations drained the state‘s already-threatened water tables, potentially returning poisoned wastewater into the system. And fracking has been found to pollute nearby wells with methane.

Tens of thousands of elephants — Africa’s largest elephant population — live in areas being drilled in Botswana, dependent on water from boreholes that could become contaminated. A study of cows exposed to fracking-polluted wastewater found consequences ranging from near-immediate death to stillbirths and genetic defects in offspring that persisted for years.

The Botswana government insists that any coal bed methane prospecting doesn’t involve fracking. Government spokesmen Jeff Ramsay said in a statement that “There are currently no fracking operations going on in the country, except exploration,” which would presumably turn into active extraction. The statement continued by saying that if any hydraulic fracturing is taking place, it isn’t permitted, and is therefore against Botswana law.

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  • Others

    Without nuclear power, we have to frack every where.
    Wildlife preserve, Rainforest, Rivers, Arctic and perhaps under the White House itself.

    • Bob_Wallace


      BTW, I don’t think you ever replied to my request to explain how we could run a 100% nuclear grid. How about taking a few minutes and answering?

      Assume a 100 GW average demand with a 3:1 peak:off-peak demand range.

  • Guest

    Nuclear fission is the new fire, and we can imagine the arguments against fire, a long time ago…

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well, we thought nuclear fission was the new fire.

      Turns out that was a mistake.

  • Guest

    Will nuclear energy resulted in the environmental damage as above?

    • Jouni Valkonen

      No, nuclear will mostly lead into economic disaster. Fukushimas are relatively rare occasions and they are mostly localized.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You might want to review the environmental damage done by uranium mining, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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