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Calling for Justice in the Goldfields of Tanzania
National Environmental Management Council, Regent Estate Plot No. 29/30, P.O. Box 63154, Dar es Salaam 35091, Tanzania
Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 November 2012; in revised form: 12 December 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 19 December 2012
Abstract: Tanzania is the third largest gold exporter in Africa, thanks in part to the liberalization of the mining sector which started in the early 1990s. Neoliberal mining reforms promised a win-win situation in which government, investors and local host communities would benefit through export earnings, profits, local employment, and corporate social responsibility initiatives (e.g., the building of schools and clinics). While the rising price of gold and foreign investments in mining activities have delivered on some of these promises, many residents in mining regions have not benefited socioeconomically. Worse still, their communities have unjustly borne the brunt of the environmental, social, and public-health costs associated with large-scale mining operations. This paper examines these injustices through research in Geita and Kahama, two of the most active gold mining areas of Tanzania. Drawing on Kuehn’s  taxonomy of environmental injustice, we detail the negative impacts of mining activities in these communities and describe how residents have developed strategies of resistance as means to obtain reparations. We then explore the political, financial, organizational, and social limitations on these resistance strategies and argue that the social movements associated with mining lack the political space necessary to affect significant changes to structure, quality, and impact of the industry in western Tanzania.
Keywords: environmental justice; rural development; political ecology; gold mining; Tanzania
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Makene, M.H.; Emel, J.; Murphy, J.T. Calling for Justice in the Goldfields of Tanzania. Resources 2012, 1, 3-22.
Makene MH, Emel J, Murphy JT. Calling for Justice in the Goldfields of Tanzania. Resources. 2012; 1(1):3-22.
Makene, Madoshi H.; Emel, Jody; Murphy, James T. 2012. "Calling for Justice in the Goldfields of Tanzania." Resources 1, no. 1: 3-22.