Monday, March 9, 2015

Tanzanite mining companies ignores CSR activities in Mererani area -Study

Lack of institutional arrangement in terms of power relations and poor managerial systems has been cited to be the main cause of extreme level of poverty among people living in local communities surrounding the Tanzanite Mining in Mererani- in Arusha region, the study report has revealed. The research study carried out in the area by Arusha based NGO Networks known by its acronym ‘Angonet’ has discovered that, there is insignificant contributions to social service deliveries by mining companies in the area through Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) for the development of local communities. Presenting the research findings on Friday this week in Dar es Salaam, Angonet’s Communications and Advocacy Officer Winfrida Onesmo said that, the situation is so pathetic that has led to the inadequate public services such as poor sanitation, inadequate access to clean and safe water. Ms. Winfrida presented the findings of the study report at a breakfast talk debate organized by Policy Forum which had focused its discussions under the theme titled, “Corporate Social Responsibility in Tanzania Mining sector”, if is an option or obligation. 

A small scale miner in search of a Tanzanite gemstone in the pit at Mererani mining site in Arusha.

According to her, the study reveals that there is lack of cooperation between central government mining officials and local government mining community an aspect which has created corruptive practices in general. The prevailing situation according to the study has provided a loophole for tax evasion and avoidance through false invoicing, lack of transparency and deliberate evasion due to poor governance in the area. Among other findings, the report has also revealed that, there is secrecy in contracts deals articulated between the mining companies and the Local Government Authorities (LGA) in the areas. This is known in reality from the service levy of 0.3 percent of the generated revenue supposed to be paid to the district councils to finance the public services in the area which the study has seen not to be adequate. With regard to human rights, the findings reveals that there are several cases from uncompensated landless people who were removed from their land to provide mining land for medium and large scale investors an aspect that is contrary to what is stipulated in the land Act , 1995 and Mining Act, 2000 section 95. Further, the study has revealed that women sitting around mining areas as street beggars to be assisted by men working in the mines, this has exposed them to risks such as HIV and AIDS infection. On the part of the recommendation, the network group has suggested together with other things that the government in cooperation with other stakeholders should establish a legal framework for CSR practices as to ensure its effective implementation and compliance that caters for both national and international interests.

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