The Requesters allege that the Bank-financed Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) Project in Tanzania did not follow several World Bank policies and procedures. With respect to involuntary resettlement, the Requesters allege that communities in five villages (with an approximate population of 21,000) adjacent to Ruaha National Park (RUNAPA) were notified that they will be evicted. The Requesters allege they face violence, actual and threats of retaliation, which has created a sense of constant fear among affected community members. The Requesters allege that over the past two years their cattle have been seized in large numbers to the detriment of pastoral livelihoods. They allege the seizure of cattle has impacted several Indigenous Peoples groups, including Maasai, Sukuma and Datoga pastoralists, who inhabit the project area. They claim that the Bank failed to trigger its policy on Indigenous Peoples, causing irreparable harm to the identity, culture, and rights of the indigenous communities in the project area.
On July 20, 2023, after conducting its due diligence, the Panel has registered the Request. The Panel’s registration implies no judgment whatsoever concerning the merits of the Request.
Bank Management must provide the Panel within 21 business days (i.e., by August 18, 2023) a response to the issues raised in the Request. Upon receiving the Management response, the Panel will assess whether the Request meets the Panel’s eligibility criteria. Based on this evaluation, the Panel will then submit a recommendation to the Executive Directors regarding whether the matter should undergo further investigation.