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Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania

Three settlements were demolished to make way for a 3rd terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport. Resettlement areas lacked a clean water supply and people were at increased risk of homelessness, joblessness, food insecurity and loss of livelihood


In February 2010 the community of Kipawa was evicted to make way for construction of a third terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), the main airport of Tanzania located southwest of Dar es Salaam. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania
State or province:Dar es Salaam region
Location of conflict:Ilala District
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Water access rights and entitlements
Ports and airport projects
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In March 2012 managing director of Tanzanian Airports Authority (TAA), Suleiman Suleiman, said that negotiations with the Chinese investors had ceased and the Julius Nyerere International Airport third terminal project had been suspended until new investment was in place. The sign at the site bearing the name Chinese Investment Fund had been painted over. Suleiman said the new terminal would cost at least USD300 million. The VIP terminal at the airport had already been built by the Chinese firm, at an estimated cost of USD 6 million [1].

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project600,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Approx 2,000 families
Start of the conflict:1997
Company names or state enterprises:China International Fund from China - Contracted to construct third terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport. In 2012 the managing director of Tanzanian Airports Authority (TAA) stated that the Terminal project had been suspended.[1]
BAM Group from Netherlands - Contracted to construct third terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport in April 2013. Designed to facilitate 6 million annual passengers the project includes parking lots, access roads, platforms and taxiway[6]
CRDB Bank from Tanzania - 15% of NYIA Terminal 3 project was funded by CRDB Bank
HSBC from United Kingdom - Tanzania received a loan from HSBC under guarantee by the Netherlands for NYIA third terminal construction project[9]
Relevant government actors:Government of Tanzania
Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA)
Ilala Municipal Council
Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements Development
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Legal and Human Rights Centre -
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Global warming, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Air pollution, Noise pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Other Environmental impactsGreenhouse gas emissions from air traffic at new third terminal
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Malnutrition, Deaths, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases, Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Potential: Other Health impacts, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Other Health impactsIncreased morbidity caused by water-borne diseases caused by lack of clean water in new settlements
Illnesses caused by pollutants emited by aircraft
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Approximately 2,000 families were displaced from three settlements - Kipawa, Kigilagila and Kipungini – to make was for a third terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport. The eviction of about 1,300 families from Kipawa was sudden, teargas was deployed and properties were demolished. A man was jailed for protesting against the eviction. Compensation was low, based on the obsolete Land Act 1967 rather than the Land Act 1999 that superseded it and specifies that compensation must consider land area by acreage, crop values, disturbance allowance and building value. A poorly managed resettlement programme exposed the displaced people to increased impoverishment risks including homelessness, unemployment and food insecurity. Many resettled residents did not have an electricity supply or access to clean water. For many affected people the only sources of water were shallow wells, causing an eruption of water-borne diseases (Typhoid, Cholera and dysentery) which increased morbidity in the resettlement area. Furthermore, many residents of the receiving community where displacees were resettled lost their farmland, and in some instances their houses. They were also dissatisfied with low compensation that did not follow the provisions of the Land Act 1999.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

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References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Mwakapalila, Furaha and Henerico, Evodius, Determinants of Land Values during Compulsory Land Acquisition in Dar es Salaam: The Case of Kinyerezi and Kipawa Wards of Ilala Municipality, International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), Volume 8 Issue 6, 06/2019
[click to view]

[4] Dawah Lulu Magembe-Mushi, Impoverishment Risks in DIDR in Dar es Salaam City: The Case of Airport Expansion Project, Current Urban Studies, 2018
[click to view]

[5] Nyandaro Mtekei, Tekehiko Murayama and Shigeo Nishikizawa, Social impacts induced by a development project in Tanzania: a case of airport expansion, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Volume 25, 2017 – Issue 4
[click to view]

[6] Dawah Lulu Magembe-Mushi, Displacement by the Displacees: Perceptions From Farm Owners in Resettlement for Airport Expansion Project. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Journal of Land Administration in Eastern Africa (JLAEA) Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2015
[click to view]

[1] Chinese investment in Tanzania bears bitter fruit, Beibei Yin, The Guardian 02/03/2012
[click to view]

[2] Evicted by Chinese investment, Beibei Yin, Africa-China Reporting Project, 20/10/2012
[click to view]

[7] BAM wins major design and build contract for Terminal 3 at Nyerere International Airport Dar es Salaam, BAM, 19/04/2013
[click to view]

[8] Construction of Terminal Three at Julius Nyerere Airport to be completed as scheduled, Construction Review Online, 06/01/2015
[click to view]

[9] Terminal 3 arrival on schedule, Dar Post, 06/03/2015
[click to view]

[10] Tanzanian president orders probe into airport project cost, Reuters, 09/02/2017
[click to view]

[11] Terminal plugs new life into Tanzania, African Aerospace Online News Service, 09/09/2019
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded network, email: [email protected]
Last update24/02/2021
Conflict ID:5408
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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