Kalahari Desert photo from Shutterstock

Botswana government officials are in hot water over fracking in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which is the second largest wildlife preserve in the world. The fracking may have been going on for over a decade without public knowledge – until the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa’s film “The High Cost of Cheap Gas” exposed footage of fracking equipment on the land. Locals are enraged as the fragile Kalahari ecosystem is at risk from coal bed methane pollution due to fracking.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Fracking, Kalahari Desert, The High Cost of Cheap Gas, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

The High Cost of Cheap Gas” exposed the issues of fracking to the Bushmen known as the San who inhabit the Kalahari. According to advocate Keikabile Mogodu, the San were not told by the Botswana government that San land had been allocated for the fracking project. Since the process is invasive to both the environment and the people living in the areas, the San were outraged that no consultation was made with the locals.

Fracking is already a concern in healthy ecosystems, but the process is particularly risky for Botswana. The country is experiencing a historic drought, which has led to crop failure and made drinking water scarce. Since fracking requires pumping water out of the ground and disturbing the water table, it affects a vital resource for the people and the wildlife of the Kalahari. Since the projects have thus far been kept under wraps, the government has been able to enact fracking facilities without much disapproval.

San advocates are joining the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa in hopes to stop these fracking projects, and preserve the land for future ecosystems.

+ Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

+ The High Cost of Cheap Gas

Via Clean Technica

Images via  Shutterstock and ©SarahAtkins