Cabo Delgado provinceAnadarko is currently leading consultations with local communities around Afungi in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, where it is planning to build its ‘LNG Park’. 

On 14 December, the PSCM, a grouping of civil society organisations concerned about the environmental and societal impacts of the plans, issued a statement calling on the consultation period, which ends on 31 December, to be extended by at least two months. They have also boycotted the  consultations running from 14-19 December.

This week’s Mozambique Politics & Security looks at the details of the consultations and the likely outcome.

Anadarko is currently in the middle of a week of consultations with local communities around Afungi in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, where it is planning to build its LNG trains in a so-called ‘LNG Park’. Anadarko is leading the process, though the park will also probably be used by Eni – especially when it starts developing its part of the straddling Mamba-Prosperidade field.

The process was supposed to have been boycotted by the Plataforma da Sociedade Civil Sobre Recursos Naturais e Indústria Extractiva em Moçambique (PSCM), a grouping of civil society organisations concerned about the environmental and societal impacts of the plans.

On 14 December, the Platform – which includes the influential Centro de Integridade Publica (CIP), among other organisations – issued a statement calling on the consultation period, which ends on 31 December, to be extended by at least two months. They also said they would boycott the consultations running from 14-19 December.

Mozambique Politics & Security has learned, however, that despite the collective boycott, some civil society organisations that are not Platform members are attending the community meetings. This will likely lend credibility to the process, which has been exhausting for the community and investors alike. Associação Progresso and the Fórum de Organizações da Sociedade Civil de Cabo Delgado are among those attending.

The Platform complains that the consultation period of 35 days is insufficient to analyse an 80-page document, particularly over the festive period (although Afungi is not a Christian area, the Christmas/New Year period is observed all over Mozambique). They also want more clarification on whether the land rights certificate, or DUAT, that Anadarko’s land special purpose vehicle was awarded, is legal. They say the land and environment ministry, under Celso Correia, has admitted it is not.

Another sticking point is over the compensation being given to communities. Anadarko insists it is paying over the odds for agricultural and other assets. But the size of the plots being given to the resettled communities is a bone of contention. Rural communities should be given 5,000m2, while urbanites are entitled to 800m2. Anadarko and its resettlement contractor argue that these communities are being transitioned from rural to urban communities, and so 800m2 is sufficient, given the amenities they will have access to.

Moreover, they say, it would be simply impractical to link up a series of 5,000m2 plots to electricity, water, and other utilities. For its part, the CIP told Mozambique Politics & Security that while it sympathises with that argument, the community should be given extra land in compensation – i.e. an enlarged village containing 800m2 plots. Simply giving each household 800m2 would not allow space for grown up sons to build their own houses, as is the local custom.

According to Tomás Queface, a civil society observer attending this week’s meetings, there is no sign of Anadarko and the government budging on the 35-day consultation. ‘The government, Anadarko, and Eni are making sure that this is the last consultation’, he told Mozambique Politics & Security. ‘People here are also tired. They want all this to finish. And the fact that there are some civil society organisations here will legitimise the current consultation.’

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