United Arab Emirates-based Hamra Oil Holdings Limited have been commended by Karonga residents led by traditional and religious leaders as well as the clergy for sensitising the community on their work and they have been given t a go-ahead to explore for oil on Lake Malawi.
The company is exploring oil on Lake Malawi, specifically in Karonga, Nkhata Bay, Rumphi and Nkhotakota districts.
Hamra is sensitising communities aiming to achieve transparency and give knowledge about the process of oil exploitation which is underway .
During the consultative meetings, Brian Nyasulu who is also a developmental activist explained to people to take oil exploitation as an opportunity for the district to lobby for developments that they are lacking.
“Hamra oil Holdings Company has been given a license to verify whether there is oil or not in our lake which is an opportunity for us as a district to understand the whole process and think of the ways we can lobby for developments from the company,” said Nyasulu.
The Karonga community welcomed the initiative and feels the outcome of the exploration exercise may result in creation of employment, business opportunities and general development of the district.
“What we want is that everyone should benefit not only few individuals because we are aware of the past experience that the district had on mining companies,” he explained.
Commenting on the matter, Karonga Pastors Fraternal a grouping of all Christian churches in Karonga Bishop Sam Mhango recommended the initiative saying Hamra Oil is giving hope to the people of Karonga.
“As members of religious readers, it is our first time to be consulted by a multinational mining company negotiating developmental issues presenting people we serve,” said Mhango during a consultation meeting for the pastors.
Chairperson of Karonga Business Community Wavisanga Silungwe said: “If the company’s exploration results would indicate that there is oil on our lake and Hamra is granted mining licence to drill, the development may be a relief to the community because most of the people will access employment and business opportunities with the company, which would result in development of the district.”