Thursday, July 2, 2009
North Mara: Witnesses on the Ground I
North Mara area and Tarime in general has become rather volatile. This situation is as a result of ethnic clashes but mostly the wrangles between the local communities and Barrick Gold Corporation. The latter has proved to aggravate the situation to an extent that social and economic welfare of the people in Nyamongo is interfered with greatly. Below, is a testimony of a member of society who recently visited the North Mara area…
I would like to thank you for your concern on this matter in Nyamongo Tarime. The sampling exercise was done extremely well without any problem. We managed to do some interview with a reasonable number of the community members in various areas and both political leaders.
It was good that we never involved the local media crew who are in Tarime otherwise they could notify the Company about our presence something which could frustrate our mission.
On the preliminary indications the samples gives us very shocking impressions. We managed to witness three dead cows, and the meat had abnormal colour, and we have taken some pieces of internal organs for laboratory check up.
We are set to meet the Tarime District commissioner on Monday morning for the interview and to hear about the government's action on this matter. We would like to report in his office for protocol purposes but also know his position and view on this matter.
I do believe that my colleagues will be in a position to share their views on what exactly occurred on the field. My general observation is that Barrick Gold mine is very rude and does not care about the wellbeing of the people. What matters to Barrick Goldmine Company is only gold.
My suggestion to this situation is to mobilise all stakeholder to meet as quick as possible and put down necessary strategies to force the Company to cease production for a while so as to allow thorough investigations and solutions towards the problems that are facing the communities surrounding this area.
We need to do it very quickly to rescue the lives and the future of the generations to come. The situation is very tense between the villagers and the company, I was surprised to see a big number of field force Police men guarding the piles of stones in this area while the people and the environment are perishing.
We invite all well wishers to join our efforts, otherwise Tanzania and the people in Tarime will be left in an extreme poverty and death cases are obvious in a very few years to come.
Continue to pray for God's intervention in this matter those who are responsible have decided to side with the company and not the poor communities.
It is very unfortunate that this inhuman behaviour and injustices are done by rich companies. May God be seen in this situation.