On Friday 20th August 2021, Geita, Voluntary Service Overseas – (VSO) in collaboration with Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) and the Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT) launched the Collective Action for Rights Realization in Extractives Industry (CLARITY) Project, funded by the European Union. The launch successfully created awareness of the issues surrounding mining and shared project concepts concerning human rights and the role of business stakeholders in the extractive sector.
The event was held at the EPZ venue, Geita, and representatives from large mining companies and Local Government Authorities from Mara and Geita Regions were present. The Geita Regional Commissioner, Hon. Rosemary Senyamule officiated the event. In her opening remarks she said, “Most women, youth and people with disabilities are highly affected by and continue to live in poverty as they continue to be excluded from the extractive industry. Through the CLARITY Project we know their voices will now be heard as we wish them to be given equal opportunities in the sector”.
CLARITY is a three year project aimed at addressing the challenges that exclude marginalized women, youth and people living with disabilities from equably working in the extractive sector. The project is concerned about human rights abuses, child labour, corruption, social exclusion, gender pay gaps, environmental degradation and putting local communities at risk of unethical business practices from private investors.
VSO, LEAT and TWCC recognise the powerful role youth, women, and people with disabilities and civil society can play in demanding rights, equal access, transparency and access to information and justice in the extractive industry when they acquire the necessary skills, assets, aspirations, and capabilities for full, equal, and effective participation.
CLARITY project manager from VSO, Mr. Frank Girabi said “VSO, TWCC and LEAT recognize the powerful role youth, women, and people with disabilities and civil society can play in development. The project will ensure that collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships are strengthened; will promote the important role of marginalized groups in the sector, while ensuring they are included, supported and protected. We strive to influence national level policy at local level; and back up sustainable rights violation reporting and response mechanisms”.
Geita has the worst poverty index in Tanzania at 62% with Mara at 50% and the country average of 47%. Secondly, Geita has one of the highest gender gaps in terms of education, health and standards of living (THDR, 2017). Poverty in Mara and Geita is linked to low educational attainment performance and retention (Geita has one of the highest dropout rates country wide). These deprivations exist more deeply for women, people with disabilities and youth (VSO, 2018).