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Panel Issues Notice of Registration for the Request for Inspection of Tanzania REGROW Project

On July 20, 2023, the Inspection Panel issued a Notice of Registration for a Request for Inspection (the "Request") of the Tanzania: Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) Project. The Request was submitted to the Panel on June 20, 2023, by two community members (the "Requesters") who live in the Ruaha National Park (RUNAPA) area, in Tanzania. The Requesters have expressed fear of retaliation and reprisal for submitting the Request to the Panel. The Requesters asked the Panel to keep their identities confidential and authorized the Oakland Institute, a US-based civil society organization and policy think tank, to support the Request and act as an advisor to the Requesters.

The Request claims that the Project is not in compliance with several Bank safeguard policies and procedures which has resulted in harm to the communities affected by the Project. The Request alleges that five villages with a total population of around 21,000 people are at risk of eviction without any Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) being prepared. The affected communities allege they have not been adequately consulted, and project documentation has not been disclosed to them. The Request also alleges that community members are facing violence from rangers at RUNAPA, and their cattle have been seized, adversely affecting their pastoral livelihood. The Request alleges the planned evictions, incidents of violence, and cattle seizures have impacted several Indigenous Groups, including Maasai, Sukuma, and Datoga pastoralists, who inhabit the Project area. The Request claims the Bank failed to trigger its policy on Indigenous Peoples, causing irreparable harm to their identity, culture, and rights, and that no free, prior, informed consultations were conducted with them.

The Panel’s registration implies no judgment whatsoever concerning the merits of the Request. Bank management must provide the Panel with a response to the issues raised in the Request by August, 18, 2023. After receiving the response and engaging with the relevant stakeholders, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors on whether the matter should be investigated. Learn more.