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Senegal: Senhuile's agribusiness project is a case of land grab impacting local communities says ActionAid report

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Article
22 October 2014

No land, no future: a community's struggle to reclaim their land

Author: ActionAid

Over the past four years, Senegalese and Italian investors (first Senethanol and then Senhuile, a joint venturemajority owned by the Tampieri Financial Group of Italy) have been seeking to produce sweet potatoes andthen sunflowers in the north-western region of Saint-Louis in Senegal. During this period, these investorshave enjoyed support from the Senegalese government and from influential local and national elites. But to this day, Senhuile-Senethanol has disregarded the concerns of local communities in relation to the investment...Senegalese authorities have failed to protect and respect the rights of local communities and – where Senegalese law is weak – Senhuile has failed to go above and beyond and meet its obligations under human rights law, in particular the requirement to avoid the negative human rights impacts of its operations and to ensure proper and transparent consultation with communities. This report provides an analysis of the company’s investment in Fanaye and Ndiael over the past four years, stressing serious shortcomings in the consultation process; the persistent lack of transparency about key issues such as the exact areas where land will be cultivated; the threats to the region’s fragile environment; the unbalanced impact that land grabs like this have on women; and the adverse impact on the lives and the food security of local people. It ends with recommendations for both the government and the company.

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Report
22 October 2014

[PDF] No land, no future. A community’s struggle to reclaim their land [Report]

Author: ActionAid

Far from learning from the tragic events in Fanaye, Senhuile has continued to implement the project, benefiting from the lack of protection of local communities’ customary land tenure rights, failing to carryv out adequate consultations, ignoring its legal obligation under Senegalese law to conduct an in-depth Environmental and Social Impact Study (EIES) before starting any activity in Ndiael...The Senhuile Senethanol project embodies all elements of a land grab. The government of Senegal has failed to ensure oversight of the company’s activities and is responsible for violating international human rights laws including the Voluntary Guidelines and guidelines about free, prior and informed consent. The company has mismanaged the process; it has taken advantage of the government’s position and has similarly failed to uphold international human rights laws. The investment has not been based on a thorough assessment of social, economic and environmental impacts; on transparent contracts that specify clear and binding commitments about activities, employment, and benefit-sharing; or on effective democratic planning, independent oversight and meaningful participation. As a result, rights to food, water, freedom of movement and women’s rights have been violated, and customary tenure rights have not been respected. [We invited Senhuile to respond to these allegations and it promised to do so as soon as possible]. 

 

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Report
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Author: ActionAid

"Quel avenir sans ma terre ? Des communautés mobilisées pour récupérer leur terre" 22 Octobre 2014

Plutôt que de tirer les leçons de cet évènement tragique à Fanaye, Senhuile [filiale de Tampieri Financial Group] a poursuivi la mise en oeuvre du projet. Elle a bénéficié du manque de protection des droits d’usage de la terre des communautés locales, n’a pas mené des consultations adéquates des communautés affectées, a ignoré son obligation légale en vertu du droit sénégalais de mener une Etude d’impact environnemental et social approfondie avant d’entreprendre ses activités à Ndiael...Le projet de Senhuile-Senethanol regroupe tous les éléments caractéristiques d’un accaparement de terres. Le gouvernement n’a pas exercé de contrôle sur les activités menées par l’entreprise, et a violé le droit international des droits humains, en particulier les Directives volontaires pour une gouvernance responsable des régimes fonciers et les principes concernant le consentement préalable donné librement et en connaissance de cause. L’entreprise a mal géré le processus; elle a bénéficié du laisser-faire du gouvernement et a manqué à son obligation de respecter le droit international des droits de l’Homme. L’investissement n’est pas fondé sur une évaluation approfondie des impacts sociaux, économiques et environnementaux ; il ne repose pas sur des procédures transparentes définissant des engagements clairs et contraignants en ce qui concerne les activités, l’emploi et le partage des bénéfices...En conséquence, les droits à l’alimenttion, à l’eau, la liberté de mouvement et les droits des femmes ont été violés, et les droits coutumiers fonciers des communautés locales n’ont pas été respectés. [Nous avons invité Senhuile à répondre à ces allégations, elle a promis de nous envoyer sa réponse dès que possible].

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