Ethanol Fuel Plant Land Conflict, Zimbabwe

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">The Chisumbanje ethanol plant producing agrofuel out of sugarcane started construction around 2009. About 40 000 hectares of land has been earmarked for compulsory acquisition leading to a fierce conflict between the villagers and the company. Some veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation war have been reportedly paid off to intimidate villagers into submission. About 83 families from Rimirayi and Chinyamukwakwa villages have moved into neighboring Mozambique under pressure from the war veterans. However the ethanol product has failed to make inroads on the market, resulting in the company and some connected politicians demanding that the Ministry of Energy impose mandatory blending of petrol and ethanol. This has hit a brick wall as the responsible ministry has refused to budge. This resulted in the ethanol plant shutting down after stockpiling 10 million litres which exhausted its storage capacity. The community is divided over the project. Others feel the project is a worthwhile development whilst others are fighting for compensation after being forcibly removed from their ancestral homes. The plant was built without an EIA having been conducted. Villagers complain of livestock dying after drinking water contaminated by emissions from the ethanol plant. <br/><br/></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Ethanol Fuel Plant Land Conflict, Zimbabwe</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/zimbabwe">Zimbabwe</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Manicaland</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Chisumbanje</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Industrial and Utilities conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/ethanol'>Ethanol</a><br /><a href='/commodity/sugar'>Sugar</a><br /><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">million litres</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>60000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>600000000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>500,000 - 700,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/agricultural-rural-development-authority'>Agricultural Rural Development Authority <small>(ARDA)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a><br /><a href='/company/rating-investments'>Rating Investments</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a><br /><a href='/company/macdom-investments'>MACDOM Investments</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a><br /><a href='/company/greenfuel-investments'>Greenfuel Investments</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/zimbabwe'><small>Zimbabwe</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Ministry of Local Government</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Center for Natural Resource Governance, Platform for Youth Development Trust (Chisumbanje)</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Local ejos</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Sabotage</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Under negotiation<br /> Corruption<br /> Land demarcation<br /> Negotiated alternative solution<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Compensation<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Migration/displacement<br /> Repression</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The mobilizers want the companies with shares in the Ethanol plant to compensate them for loss of land and livelihoods. They also want to participate in the project through employment and other community development projects. Mobilizers have been successful in lobbying government to force the companies to compensate them. The Minister of Energy and Power development Elton Mangoma and the Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara have since demanded that affected families be compensated<br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Government is protecting business interests at the expense of the human security needs of the local people. The fact the an EIA was not conducted prior to the project tells of the political nature of the project: It is being implemented outside the law. The powerlessness of the villagers also means they cant successfully defend their environment against pollution by the ethanol project</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Environmental Management Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Energy Regulatory Authority Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Agricultural Land Resettlement Act<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> </p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> plant workers rough-up Mangoma/news.aspx<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-8874-Ethanol" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://allafrica.com/stories/201208220330.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://allafrica.com/stories/201208170482.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> </p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>The Ethanol Project is one of the national projects that is being patronized by ZANU PF to campaign ahead of elections. The plant is being run by a renowned war veteran Basil Nyabadza. Politicization of the project has undermined the project and divided government with ZANU PF saying the project will reduce fuel imports whilst the MDCT is demanding that villagers be compensated first. This bickering and politicization has weakened the work of the Environmental Management Agency which appear afraid of being caught in the cross fire. Consequently little is being done to monitor the environmental impacts of the project for fear of being labelled saboteurs.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Farai Maguwu</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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