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Perenco Muanda, Dem. Rep. Congo


The French-British company Perenco is the DRC's (Democratic Republic of Congo) sole oil producer and is one of the largest investors in the country. They arrived in the DRC in 2000 after CHEVRON sold their concessions. Perenco's onshore drilling program started in 2002 and offshore in 2004. The company has extensively invested in new wells, they have got between 250 to 800 wells. Perenco will normally continue operating in DRC until 2030.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Perenco Muanda, Dem. Rep. Congo
Country:Congo, Dem. Rep.
State or province:Bas-Congo
Location of conflict:Muanda
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

PERENCO bougth the Muanda concessions from CHEVRON in 2000.

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Project area:40,000
Level of Investment:75,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/01/2008
Company names or state enterprises:Perenco (PERENCO)
Relevant government actors:Governor of Bas-Congo, Senators
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coordination Nationale Réseau Ressources Naturelles (RRN), Actions pour les Droits, l'Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), IPIS, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Association Africaine des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Observatoire pour la protection des Défenseurs des Droits de l'Homme (OMCT)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition
Other Health impactsRecrudescence of disease like cataract, glaucoma, trauma, conjunctival tumors
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Fostering a culture of peace
Development of alternatives:PERENCO developed appropriate drilling techniques to reduce the development costs ; rationalised the production pipeline network.
The company has funded social and environmental programs integrating communities in Muanda. For instance, they built a library with more than 10.000 books and internet access for the local population. They renovated the airport and some roads.
PERENCO has also provided gas and electricity to many villages in Muanda.
PERENCO works with the BUNKETE NGO for garbage collection and financed the installation of a landfill.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:According to the Observatory of multinationals, the benefits of this project for Muanda are extremely low compared to PERENCO's benefits. In his report, Olivier Petitjean from this Observatory, didn't hesitate to to describe Muanda as "the world's poorest oil city". In Muanda, the unemployment rate is 95%.
According to CCFD-Terre and ADEV, local population in Muanda has suffered from environmental degradations, pollutions and social upheaval since PERENCO began its activities. In december 2009, local villagers from Kongo and Tshiende denounced the pollution of their land and rivers as well as the toxic waste near their villages.
PERENCO has always claimed that the company has always fostered a culture of peace. But many Human Rights NGOs are very concerned of the criminalization of local farmers and activists. In december 15th 2009, 15 farmers were arrested and jailed after participating in a peaceful demonstration in front of the PERENCO's oil terminal ('near Kongo and Tshiende villages).
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Perenco en RDC : quand le pétrole rend les pauvres encore plus pauvres

23 janvier 2014 par Olivier Petitjean
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

The oil exploitation project PERENCO Muanda submitted to the Governor of Bas-Congo
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PERENCO website
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PERENCO's activities impacts in Muanda
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DRC: Senate recommends Perenco to clean up Muanda
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Meta information
Last update12/02/2015
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