Tell the World Bank to STOP Funding Evictions & Human Rights Abuses for Tourism in Tanzania
The Oakland Institute just exposed how the World Bank is enabling the Tanzanian government’s violent tactics to evict Indigenous communities in order to expand national parks to boost tourism. Our report, Unaccountable & Complicit, has generated millions of media impressions – with articles by Associated Press and The Guardian covered by The Washington Post, ABC News, The Hill and numerous other major outlets. With this spotlight on its complicity the Bank is now hard pressed for answers and action.
The World Bank’s US$150 million Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project in Tanzania is financing the government’s expansion of Ruaha National Park (RUNAPA) from one to over two million hectares. To expand the park for tourism revenues, the government has announced evictions impacting over 20,000 Indigenous and local communities from legally registered villages. Bank-funded rangers are accused of murder, sexual violence, and cruel assaults. Cattle are being seized in huge numbers to decimate pastoralists’ livelihoods and drive them from the area.
Our research and advocacy alongside the impacted villagers has shattered the silence on the Bank’s role in funding the Tanzanian government’s brutal campaign to expand tourism at any cost. The media attention has generated momentum to hold the Bank accountable. But this will not be easy – we need you!
TAKE ACTION NOW
Send a message to the Bank that you will not allow it to finance the atrocities unfolding in Tanzania. Take a stand with the pastoralists and small farmers struggling to protect their lands and livelihoods.
Subject: Stop Financing Evictions & Human Rights Abuses in Tanzania
Ajay Banga, President, World Bank Group
CC: Coralie Gevers, Chief of Staff to the World Bank Group President; Floribert Ngaruko, Executive Director, Africa Group 1; Venuste Ndikumwenayo, Advisor to the Executive Director, Africa Group 1; L. Felice Gorordo, Alternate Executive Director, United States; Ruchira Srinivasakrishnan, Advisor to the Executive Director, United States; Victoria Kwakwa, Regional Vice President, Eastern and Southern Africa; Nathan Belete, Country Director for Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe;
Dear President Ajay Banga,
I am writing about the World Bank’s Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project in Tanzania. As documented in the Oakland Institute’s report Unaccountable & Complicit, the Bank’s support to the Tanzanian government is directly linked to massive eviction plans and human rights abuses to expand Ruaha National Park (RUNAPA).
In contradiction with the Bank’s own documents, which claim that the project will not lead to any resettlement, the Minister of Lands, Housing, and Human Settlements Development publicly announced on October 25, 2022, that the government will forcibly evict over 20,000 villagers living in the area to allow for the expansion of RUNAPA.
TANAPA park rangers, funded through REGROW, are accused of murders and numerous incidents of violence since the project began in 2017. Government agencies are also seizing and auctioning cattle in large numbers to the severe detriment of pastoralists’ livelihoods. The violence and seizures are being carried out to pressure villagers to leave the area.
Unaccountable & Complicit provides irrefutable evidence that the Tanzanian government is violating the World Bank’s safeguards and procedures by planning evictions without a formal resettlement plan and due process for consultation and compensation. The REGROW project team denied any responsibility and failed to take action when informed of human rights abuses and violations of the World Bank’s safeguards. Continued inaction is unacceptable.
Tanzania’s atrocities against its own citizens and its blatant disregard for the Bank’s operating procedures and safeguards disqualify the country from receiving World Bank funding. I urge you to take immediate action to end the complicity of the Bank in these abuses and I look forward to your response.