By Chimwemwe Mphande
RAKGas MB 45 Ltd in collaboration with Akatswiri Consultancy and Enviro Consultancy has completed an environmental impact assessment survey in Machinga, Salima and Mangochi on oil exploration.
RAKGas MB 45 Ltd director of media and public relations Martin Kansichi said Monday in an interview that they are done with the environmental impact assessment survey.
He said they were ready to move to the next step where they will do a seismic study.
“The environmental impact studies started way back in 2014 and the report is ready and we have shared it with government as well as district councils in the targeted districts,” he said.
“The focus was on people, land, water, animals, plants and air whereby each of those areas was fully investigated.
“With the findings we have, we are all geared up to go on to the next level though it requires heavy investments,” he said.
Kansichi explained that the next stage requires purchase of heavy machinery which will be used for drilling but was quick to say that with the period given, they will manage.
“We have three more years to carry on the work such that after the seismic studies we will have another environmental impact assessment study,” he said.
Among other findings, a Researcher from Enviro Consultancy Margret Sikwese found out that people were more concerned with how the initial project would affect their lives.
“We conducted qualitative survey in which we found out that people in the targeted areas were more concerned about issues of compensation.
“[They were also concerned with] how the initial project would affect their marriages in fear of losing their wives to the project implementers,” Sikwese said.
She also found out that people in the targeted areas did not go beyond primary such that they would not be offered skilled labour during the initial implementation of the project.
Hilton Banda from Katswiri Consultancy firm said the project will not affect people at this stage hence no fear for relocation.