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A Call for Support & Solidarity from Foundation Help [About Mgodini North Mara]

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Mpogoro, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Mpogoro

    Mpogoro JF-Expert Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Messages: 361
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    Mniwie radhi kama nitakuwa na-post hii kitu hapa kwa mara ya pili,ila naona ni kitu cha kusikitisha.Naona wawekezaji wameishika nchi na wanaweza kufanya chochote wanachotaka!Huu ni uonevu wa wazi kabisa,wananchi wanakandamizwa!

    Nimeona hii e-mail kwenye mailing list moja nikasema niibandike kwenye jukwaa hapa pamoja na attachment y barua toka kwa wanasheria wa Barrick.Yaani na haya makampuni yetu ya uwakili yenyewe yanajali pesa tu!

    Dear Friends,

    Foundation Help Executive Director, Chacha Benedict Wambura recently
    received a letter from Barrick Gold Corporations North Mara Mine lawyers
    (letter attached) asking him to issue a public apology to the company due
    to information that was disseminated with regards to conditions of local
    community members affected by the toxic sludge spill from their
    (Barrick's) tailings damn as a result of negligence and lack of commitment
    on CSR issues in the host communities.

    Foundation Help is a small organisation with limited or but has been
    active and instrumental on facilitating research launching pad for a
    number studies carried out on Social, Economic and environmental impacts
    of the Extractive Industry in Tanzania's Lake region with main focus on
    the communities living in the mining areas in the North Mara.

    Barrick's strategy to single out and intimidate organisations and
    individuals who bring to surface evidences of social, economic,
    environmental injustices resulting in gross human rights violations have
    been known to many of us who have worked against malpractices in the
    mining sector.

    With this letter and ultimatum issued to Foundation Help's Executive
    Director; the voices of the poor and marginalised communities in the North
    Mara will not be heard and this organisation will vanish as it does not
    have the resource muscle to stand the ground against Barrick Gold

    Even though it is not my direct domain to speak on behalf of Foundation
    Help, yet knowing the work they have done in pursuit of justice and
    working along with the local community members in the North Mara District
    for their plight for justice to be heard and justice delivered; I ask you
    all to pledge solidarity and give any support you can to assist Foundation
    Help stand during this trying and difficult time particularly the
    executive director Chacha Wambura who has been singled out by Barrick.

    Please find the attached letters as I have received them. You can contact
    Chacha Wambura by sending email to:

    I have also attached the report of the study carried out by the Norwegian
    University of Life Sciences in conjunction with the University of Dar es
    Salaam on the same matter for those who have not seen the report.

    With the Warmest Regards

    Evans Rubara
    Policy & Advocacy Advisor
    Council of Churches in Zambia
    Box 30315 - Lusaka
    Gen: +260 211 224 622
    Dir: +260 211 232 659
    Fax: +260 211 224 308
    "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative
    altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness..." Martin Luther
    King Jr

    View attachment LETTER0001.pdf
  2. Gold Digger

    Gold Digger Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Joined: May 21, 2009
    Messages: 86
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    Open letter responding to allegations concerning Mara Mine, Tanzania

    Barrick Gold Corporation and African Barrick Gold would like to take this opportunity to respond to false allegations made by Foundation HELP, a non-governmental organization located in the Tarime District of Tanzania.
    We are deeply concerned that Foundation HELP continues to circulate alarming material which attributes serious health ailments to the operations of the North Mara mine. The material in question features photographs of two persons, a young male and an elderly female, with severe skin conditions. Devoid of medical evidence of any kind, these images are the basis for a "call to action" against the mine and have been distributed widely via the internet by activist groups.

    African Barrick Gold has taken a series of actions consistent with our commitment as a responsible corporate citizen. To be clear, any credible claim of a health issue associated with the company's operations (whether involving an employee or community member) would be assessed and any necessary medical assistance provided.

    We have attempted to identify and locate these two individuals. Although we enlisted the assistance of government and village leaders, we have been unable to do so. No one has come forward or indicated they know these persons or could assist us.

    We then consulted with a team of medical experts, namely Dr. Robert Weiss, President, Dermatology Society of South Africa, Dr. Rob Barbour, Chief Medical Officer for Barrick Gold Corporation, Dr. Mark Divall, an occupational health physician based in South Africa, and Mr. Yahya Kishahu, an occupational health specialist and academic with Muhimbili University College for Health Sciences of Tanzania.
    They each examined the photographs and provided their assessment of the possible causes of the medical conditions afflicting the two individuals. Their analysis is limited to the images circulated and, to arrive at a comprehensive conclusion, a full medical examination and case history would be required.
    Based on their assessment, however, the image of the elderly woman (identified as Mama Otaigo, allegedly from Weigita village) shows a condition that is entirely consistent with vitiligo, a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation of patches of skin. The causes or origins of this disease is largely unknown but is widely considered to have an immunological basis.
    The image of a young boy (identified as Paul, allegedly from Nkerege village) is consistent with a form of ichthyoids (Lamellar), an inherited skin disorder which causes plate-like scaling of the entire body surface and is present at birth.
    These medical disorders are chronic, long-term diseases caused by genetics, immunological or other conditions. They were not caused by impacts associated with the North Mara operation over the past year, as claimed by Foundation HELP.
    As Dr. Weiss stated, "there is no doubt that neither of these conditions are the result of contaminated water." Furthermore, the two villages cited by Foundation HELP are located some 30 to 35 kilometers away from North Mara and both are upstream from the mine.
    To our knowledge, Foundation HELP has made no effort to have these cases brought to the attention of authorities or a qualified medical professional. No effort has been made to contact the company or the mine.
    Thus, we have concluded that Foundation HELP's claims are neither credible nor motivated out of concern for these two individuals. This organization is not raising awareness of a public health concern or seeking assistance for these alleged victims. Rather, this material exploits the ill-health of others to mobilize anti-mining sentiment and harm the reputation of our companies.
    ABG has requested that Foundation HELP cease from repeating and circulating these defamatory allegations. Regrettably, their response has been to ignore this appeal, to circulate this material more widely, and avoid taking any responsibility for the truthfulness of their claims. For this reason, ABG directed legal counsel to contact this organization to seek a retraction of this material from circulation. We continue to strongly urge all those involved with Foundation HELP to be accountable and refrain from repeating these false allegations.
    We are also concerned about the health and well-being of this young boy and elderly woman. On humanitarian grounds, ABG's medical professionals would welcome the opportunity to provide assistance by directing them to the appropriate medical experts.
    As leaders in corporate social responsibility, Barrick and ABG are committed to making a positive contribution to local communities. To date, we have invested US$40 million in community programs and initiatives in Tanzania, including vital health programs which have benefited tens of thousands of people.
    We will continue to ensure that our stakeholders have accurate information about the impact and benefits of our operations in Tanzania, today and in the future.