Oil exploitation in Chad Residents file complaint against the World Bank over pipeline

Source: Gramp/TC
Date: 19 Dec 2021

You can view this letter in its original PDF format

The Chad/Cameroon Alternative Research and Petrol Project Monitoring Group (Groupe de recherches alternatives et de monitoring du projet pétrole/Tchad-Cameroun) (GRAMPTC), has lodged a complaint with the World Bank on behalf of 25,220 farmers from 25 villages in Chad’s oil rich Doba region, citing human rights and environmental abuses resulting from the Chad Cameroon Oil Pipeline co-financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

According to Gramp/TC, the extremely extensive land holdings taken up for the pipeline together with the impact of pollution on agriculture and livestock have actually deprived a section of the population of their sole means of livelihood. Moreover, the presence of security forces guarding the pipeline has led to restrictions on free movement within the zone between villages and families, with a kind of implicit “curfew” in force from 6p.m. until 6a.m., etc. According to the complainants, local people are subject to several kinds of abuse, including arbitrary arrests and fines, destruction of their property, torture and other humiliating and degrading treatment. In addition, many cases of environmental abuse have also been recorded.

Although it received 100 million dollars in financing from the IFC, the oil project carried out by the American-Malaysian consortium (Esso, Chevron and Petronas) failed to benefit local people, despite various commitments, including new educational and health infrastructure, and access to drinking water, that were given upon the signing of the contract between the operating companies and the Chad government.

The complaint was filed on 20 October 2021 and deemed admissible on 29 November by the Office of Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman – CAO [1], a dispute resolution mechanism established by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment and Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group.

In the case before the CAO, the complainants are seeking reparation for the damage caused to local residents and asking that sustainable solutions be found to deal with the cumulative medium and long term social and environmental impact.
In the view of GRAMPTC and many international NGOs, the IFC must henceforth comply with new international standards, particularly with the United Nations guidelines on human rights and transnational corporations. This means that the IFC should insist that the corporations to which it makes loans must take into account and prevent risks relating to human and environmental rights, particularly those resulting from land grabbing practices, as set out in its new “Sustainability Framework”.2

You can upload the complaint file at this link: www.gramp.org Contact:
N’Djamena: Dr Maoundonodji Gilbert (GRAMPTC): Tel. (235) 66 29 34 18 / (235) 77 29 34 18

1 The role of the CAO is: To assist IFC and MIGA in addressing complaints by people affected by IFC/MIGA projects (or projects in which those organizations play a role) in a manner that is fair, objective, and constructive, and to enhance the social and environmental outcomes of IFC/MIGA projects (or projects in which those organizations play a role).

2 See Performance Standard 5 of the Sustainability Framework: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/policyreview.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/Updated_PS5_August1-2011/$FILE/Updated_PS5_August1-2011.pdf