The East African Pipeline will cut across Tanzania and Uganda and will be the longest pipeline in the world. In preperation for this pipeline, there is already huge damage being done to delicate ecosystems such as sensitive wetlands.
FUNDING: Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank, provided $3.5 million to fund the East African Pipeline while the African Development Bank withdrew its funding due to pressure after human rights violations and a lack of environmental assessments.
BlackRock committed to being carbon neutral by 2035, attention must be drawn to this and Blackrock should be forced to withdraw funding. It’s important to combine all evidence to build global advocacy. The crimes and abuses must be brought to public attention. The communities have no access to international media, in remote areas have no internet access. Civil disobedience can be useful in Europe but in Africa you can be killed or shot. Activists in the Amazon have begun kidnapping the mining workers.
“Even before construction of the pipeline commences, communities affected by the EACOP are suffering and this is unacceptable. The project developers placed a cut-off date on the affected people’s property in 2019 and through the date, they stopped the project-affected people from utilizing their land for new developments such as growing of perennial crops, setting up of houses, constructing new graves, and others. The developers’ actions resulted in the abuse of communities’ economic, cultural and social rights. This abuse is ongoing to date as communities’ income-generating activities are curtailed, burial rites have been destabilized and women’s rights are abused among others. Moreover, the EACOP’s land acquisition activities including the placement of a cut-off-date has caused psychological distress and has increased insecurity. Affected communities are attacked by thieves who think that they have a lot of compensation money. No bank, including Standard Bank, should participate in perpetuating the above grave impacts and abuse of communities’ rights through funding the EACOP.”
Africa Institute for Energy Governance’s (AFIEGO) CEO, Dickens Kamugisha
THE GOVERNMENT: The recent court case against Total in France has been forwarded onto another judge and there has not been a judgement as of November 11, 2020. A new law in France requires that companies declare whether their behavior abroad aligns with the standards enforced in their country of origin. While judges are focused on the upcoming election, Total is funding and collaborating with multinationals who are taking the power in government. In addition t rampant corruption, an Oil and Gas Protection Unit was formed by the government in 2014 to monitor civil society organizations.
THE COMMUNITIES: Communities are mobilizing to protect their land. Total has 45 wells planned for a national park. Under international law, drilling should not take place in a protected/heritage site. When the companies present their environmental analysis to the local community, they do so in a language which is not native to the local people and then lied to about what the analysis states. They are devastated as their lands are ravaged and their homes are destroyed. Human rights abuses have been documented by many organizations. People’s land is being acquired and they are forced to sign documents that they don’t understand.
WHAT IS NEEDED AND HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Companies need to be forced to implement international law and protect the community and the environment
- Activists need infrastructure, protection, and funding.
- The government is working with the multinationals and there has been a rise in violations and death threats against activists.
- In Africa, there is a tax for internet access and difficult security issues with organizing or fundraising online.
- Human rights defenders are being targeted more frequently and face great risks of being attacked or abusively arrested to frighten communities.
- Since the rise of Covid-19, foreign donors are withdrawing their contributions and Fracking companies are capitalizing on this, fabricating evidence to imprison activists.
You can donate to the individuals on the ground. Fill out a “Contact Us” form to get in touch.
You can pressure your local embassy about demanding basic human rights be observed in Africa and worldwide.
You can raise awareness about the dangers of fracked gas and boycott companies that invest.
You can pressure BlackRock and Total to abandon their project.
You can call these companies what they are – greedy liars, climate criminals, murderers.