World Bank suspends Tanzania tourism funding after claims of killings and evictions

BARD AI

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Jul 24, 2018
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The World Bank has suspended financing intended to develop tourism in southern Tanzania after allegations of killings, rape and forced evictions.

The bank began investigating last year after being accused of enabling abuses around Ruaha national park, which was due to double in size as part of a World Bank-supported programme.

“The World Bank is deeply concerned about the allegations of abuse and injustice related to the Resilient Natural Resources Management for Tourism and Growth (Regrow) project in Tanzania,” said a World Bank spokesperson.

“We have recently received information that suggests breaches of our policies in the implementation of the Regrow project. We have therefore decided to suspend further disbursement of funds with immediate effect.”

Tanzania was due to receive a further $50m, having already received $100m of the funding. Developments include building roads, viewing areas and visitor centres, and investing in wildlife monitoring and increased security.

The Guardian reported in September 2023 that the US-based thinktank the Oakland Institute had documented a range of abuses by Tanzanian rangers against villagers accused of encroaching on the national park, including the killing of cattle herders and fishers, the confiscation of livestock and the rape of women.

Exodus underway as Tanzania forces Maasai people from their ancestral lands, Narok, Kenya - 23 Jun 2022<br>Mandatory Credit: Photo by Daniel Irungu/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13008585m) Kenyan and Tanzanian Maasai women with their childre hold prayers outside a manyatta house at a remote village bordering Kenya and Tanzania in Narok, Kenya, 23 June 2022 (issued 27 June 2022). Thousands of Maasai people have been flocking to the border between Tanzania and Kenya in recent weeks, as the Tanzanian government continues its attempts to evict members of the Nilotic ethnic group from their ancestral lands in the northern town of Loliondo. More than 2,000 Maasai crossed the border between the two countries after the outbreak of violence on 10 June, according to Kenyan activists' count. The eviction of the communities in Loliondo in the northern district of Ngorongoro threatens more than 70,000 people, according to the United Nations. Exodus underway as Tanzania forces Maasai people from their ancestral lands, Narok, Kenya - 23 Jun 2022

The Oakland Institute welcomed the “long overdue” decision, which came a year after the World Bank was first informed of potential violations of its own policies on safeguarding in April 2023.

Anuradha Mittal, the thinktank’s executive director, said: “It sends a resounding message to the Tanzanian government that there are consequences for its rampant rights abuses taking place across the country to boost tourism. The days of impunity are finally coming to an end.”

The Oakland Institute said that despite the World Bank announcing an investigation, the Tanzanian government moved forward in October with plans to redraw the boundaries of the national park, which would result in 21,000 people facing eviction.

The institute said their research shows other abuses have also continued, including the killing of a 21-year-old cattle herder in October and seizure and sale of thousands of cattle this year.

“The government’s plan to expand the park cannot go forward against the will of local communities, who will lose everything from such an expansion,” said Mittal. “In addition to preventing forced evictions, the bank must focus on how to remedy the harms caused to the villagers who have lost loved ones to ranger violence or had their lives devastated by livelihood restrictions.”

The Tanzanian government had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.
 
It is a pity to loose this amount of money, politics versus economic and poor management factors this must be observed, most of cattle herders are not originality occupancy of this area they are Masais and Sukuma who have destroyed there area and they shift to other ares to look for pastures. the best thing is to give education and arrange the permanent settlement like how it has been done for masai from Ngorongoro to Msomera otherwise this problem will never end.
 
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