MAC: Mines and Communities

Tata brew up a storm of protest in East Africa

Published by MAC on 2007-07-19

Tata brew up a storm of protest in East Africa

19th July 2007

In articles, the UK's Guardian and the Environmental News Services have exposed a plan by the Indian conglomerate, Tata, to construct a soda ash processing plant on Lake Natron in Tanzania. It's a plan which the UK's Royal Society of Birds has condemned as "bonkers", alleging that the habitat of one of the world's biggest breeding grounds for flamingos would be ruined. Equally important is that the area is inhabited by the Masaai people, who, aside from cattle herding, have at times been engaged in small-scale mining of soda slabs, and are apprehensive about the environmental and social consequences of the scheme, especially whether it will result in water depletion.

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