12 December 2012

Tanzania: Villagers Cry Foul On Bio-Fuel Investments

Photo: Mujahid Safodien/IRIN
Sugar cane plantation used in production of biofuel

VILLAGERS from Kilwa and Rufiji districts have requested the government to involve them in implementation of bio-fuel projects and investments in which huge tracts of land is used.

They told members of the Journalists' Environment Association of Tanzania (JET) who visited the area recently that contracts signed between district councils and various investors should be open.

Speaking at a news conference in Dar es Salaam, JET chairperson Mr Johnson Mbwambo said during their research in Mavuji, Migeregere, Nainokwe and Liwiti villages in Kilwa and Rungungu, Mangwi and Chumbi C in Rufiji, the villagers discovered they had lost big part of their land to investors.

In those villages, JET observed that investment in biofuel left majority of villagers without land after local authorities signed contracts with investors by leasing land for many years. He claimed that JET visited four villages and received complaints from villagers that they were forced by districts and regional leaders to lease a total of 160,000 hectares to an investor based in the Netherlands (name withheld).

According to Mr Mbwambo, the villagers said that for almost two years since the firm started operating in Kilwa district, there is not even a single hectare which is being developed up now for the production of biofuel, instead the international firm used it to cut trees, making wood and export the products.

Copyright © 2012 Tanzania Daily News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.