Natural gas projects and local community development in Tanzania

Countries

Tanzania, United Republic of

Focus Area

Engaging
Communities and Sharing Benefits

Status

Active

sustainable development goals

Budget

$49,900 CAN

Funders

Global Affairs Canada

Who Benefits

Academic research community

Government of Tanzania

Communities in the gas-producing region of Mtwara

Delivery Partners

University of British Columbia

University of Dar es Salaam

The Challenge

Tanzania aims to become a middle-income country by 2025. Natural gas development has been identified as one of the platforms to launch this development strategy. In addition to using the gas for domestic consumption, power generation and industrial development, the Tanzanian government has announced that the country will become a leading liquefied natural gas exporting country in East Africa in the next five years. Accountability mechanisms must be instituted to ensure that equitable compensation is provided to those who have lost their farmlands and other livelihood assets due to gas project developments. The concerns of the communities directly impacted by the natural gas development need to be documented and understood by policy- and decision-makers in order to have their needs addressed.

Project Details

This study investigates how natural gas development projects are unfolding in the Mtwara District in southern Tanzania and the extent to which they are impacting the social and cultural fabric of rural communities. A community baseline survey of 841 households was completed in 2016, followed by a successful multi-stakeholder workshop at which the research findings were disseminated and enriched by discussion. An academic article will further disseminate the research findings.

Cross-cutting themes

Gender

  • The baseline survey contained gender-inclusive questions and included focus group discussions for women only. The multi-stakeholder workshop included 34% women. Research found that gas development projects do not address women’s concerns and livelihood situations and that women are not well represented in decision-making forums.

Environment

  • The research captures individual and collective experiences of environmental dispossession and is communicated to decision makers.

Governance

  • It is anticipated that improving governance, with a focus on communities directly affected by the gas development projects, results in tangible benefits to the affected population in terms of poverty reduction and improvement in livelihoods.

Results to Date

  • Completed baseline survey of 841 households in the Mtwara region, capturing the narratives of those whose lives have been directly affected by the gas project.
  • Workshop held in Dar es Salaam in August 2016 with 31 participants (34% female) to disseminate and enrich research findings. Workshop participants included representatives from Mtwara District communities, Mtwara District Council, academia, research institutions and civil society organizations.
  • Documentation and analysis of the nature of the social transformation as experienced and expressed by the local people who are directly or indirectly affected by the development of the natural gas development processes, with final report to come.

Intended Impact

New research data is generated on community-level development in gas producing regions and made available to decision-makers and other stakeholders through a one-day workshop and academic papers. This results in knowledge being mobilized on how government and other stakeholders can implement gender-responsive community-level development initiatives in gas producing regions.

Sustainable Development Goals – Project Contributions

No Poverty

Household surveys of communities affected by natural gas development projects provide valuable baseline data ​on the resulting social transformation, as expressed by local people and communities in one of Tanzania’s poorest regions.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Data will inform long-term strategies for coexistence, planning and benefit-sharing between an emerging natural gas sector and neighbouring communities in the Mtwara region.

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research gives voice to vulnerable populations in impacted areas. Findings can inform accountability mechanisms to ensure that those who have lost their farmlands and other livelihood assets to gas developments receive equitable compensation.

project team

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