CESOPE's anti-uranium struggles in Tanzania

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Uranium mining is an activity with long term negative consequences. Any country willing to invest in uranium mining must be able to foresee the environmental, social and economic costs that are embedded in uranium mining. Since 2008 CESOPE along with other CSOs (civil society organizations) have been trying to advocate against uranium mining in Bahi-Dodoma region, Manyoni-Singida region and in Namtumbo-Songea Region, creating awareness to the communities that will be affected by uranium mining. Through lobby and advocacy activities CESOPE also has been able to reach out to governmental institutions that are responsible for supervising environmental and radiation matters in the country. CESOPE has also been able to influence decision making spaces and channels of influence at different levels at national and international levels. This report provides a snapshot of activity achievements that we were able to implement in the year 2018.

Contents

Achievements

Feasibility study of Bahi Wetland to become a UNESCO Biosphere reserve

CESOPE in 2017 launched a feasibility study to determine whether Bahi Wetland which has been targeted for uranium mining can be demarcated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve with a purpose of protecting the ecological integrity of the wetland and the socio-economic benefits of the wetland to the more that 500,000 people who depend on this wetland for their livelihood. The first phase of the feasibility study took place from September to December 2017. The consultant for this activity was University of Dodoma Lecturer Dr. Augostino Mwakipesile. Unfortunately this project never continued to the next phases as the project was snatched by our consultant Dr. Mwakipesile who conspired to take the project from our sponsors Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Dr. Mwakipesile is now the implementer of the project and CESOPE has never been involved ever since. Our major concern here is not that the project has been taken from CESOPE but rather because the project will no longer serve the purpose that we intended for. When CESOPE designed the project the purpose was to use the findings of the study for advocacy purposes, particularly for uranium mining and the dam construction in the upper stream of Bubu river that pours its water in the wetland. Dr. Mwakipesile as a governmental employee will not be able to use the findings for advocacy purpose but rather for academic purposes.

Capacity building training to CSOs on Uranium Mining regulations

CESOPE conducted a training on uranium mining regulations to CSOs and journalists. The overall objective of this workshop was to provide understanding to CSOs on the current status of uranium mining in Tanzania and how CSOs that be involved in providing useful inputs during consultations with governmental agencies and other stakeholders for the regulations that has recently being released. The government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Minerals have released regulations that will govern uranium mining in Tanzania. These regulations have been released without stakeholders consultation to provide their views on the regulations. CESOPE is still lobbying and advocating for broader stakeholders consultation.

Parliamentarians consultation meeting on the uranium mining regulations

CESOPE conducted an Experience Sharing Seminar on uranium mining regulation with members of parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania, where 27 Members of parliament and parliamentarian committee secretaries participated in the seminar. This seminar was a continuation of the actions that CESOPE is taking to ensure that there is transparency and involvement of stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of the regulations that will supervise the exploitation and extraction of uranium mining in Tanzania. This parliamentarian seminar was also a follow up and implementation of the recommendations that were provided by CSOs during the CSOs capacity building training that was done on 21st - 22nd May, 2018 at Dear Mama hotel in Dodoma.

Future plans

CESOPE is planning to continue with lobby and advocacy campaigns on uranium mining, particularly at this time when the uranium mining companies have suspended their activities in Tanzania. We are planning to hold another consultation meeting with the members of parliament in Dodoma in the month of February, 2019. We will also continue to network with our international partners to advocate for a ban of uranium mining in the world.


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