International companies of mining that are working in Mozambique aren’t successful in the obligation towards the people displaced by mining, according to some rights group.The Human Rights Watch says that communities of farming have resettled on arid lands along with suffering from shortages of food.It said that the mining giants which include Rio Tinto and Vale, and the government of Mozambique need to do much more to protect the local people.
Responding to this, Vale and government said that improvements were made.In the recent years, the companies including Australia’s Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale, have made investments of multi-billion-dollar towards development of Mozambique’s coal reserves. The exports of coal have helped to increase the economical condition in a poor country of world. Though, Human Rights Watch says that mining has led to making life quite harder for a lot of local people.
Many reports of HRW focus on Tete province in north-west of the country. With the estimated 23 billion tonnes of coal reserves that are untapped, a big project to resettle the local people is in progress which will enable the mining of coal.
Mining concessions as well as exploration licences already have been granted which cover one-third of the province’s area, with the licences that are pending covering one-third too, according to HRW.According to HRW, 1429 households that were largely self-sufficient before, have been moved already, but now they are facing much trouble to access water, food and work.
Having land’s large proportion set aside for mining, only little farmland is left for resettling the families and now many live on land that is far from markets and rivers.
Report says that what is done to implement the irrigation schemes or provide compensation and assistance to families as was promised, is not enough.
According to the report, government too was at fault for failing in providing enough channels and oversight to allow the residents that are resettled to make the complaints heard.
Due to this, resettled families along with others that are affected by mines had started to protest in streets about the treatment.A senior researcher of HRW, Nisha Varia, said that the Rio Tinto and Vale projects in the province of Tete are only the first among many huge resettlements and projects that are probably going to occur in Mozambique in some following decades, making the lessons to be offered vitally important.
According to the report, both the mining companies and government had taken measures to ameliorate impact of mines but this is not enough.Responding to this, Vale welcomed report of HRW and admired the group’s attitude of problem-solving.
It said that it already had taken measures to compensate the families fairly, made sure that they were not hungry, improve the housing conditions, irrigation and the farming yields.
Raxhide Gogo, the governor of Tete admitted that the mistakes were made but he said that the company was already working with the mining companies in order to have them corrected and that government already had implemented new regulations regarding resettlement.