A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
London-based New Forests Company (NFC) would seem to be the design blueprint of how a young modern company should conduct a major land investment in Africa in a responsible way. Oxfam’s investigations reveal, however, that serious allegations by people who were evicted from land to make way for NFC’s operations remain unresolved. How will the company respond?
Today, the people evicted from the land are desperate, having been driven into poverty and landlessness. In some instances they say they were subjected to violence and their property, crops, and livestock destroyed. They say they were not properly consulted, have been offered no adequate compensation, and have received no alternative land.
Oxfam believes that the affected communities in Kiboga and Mubende deserve to have their case heard and to see justice done.
In Oxfam’s view, NFC and its financial backers must be held to account for the lost
livelihoods and shattered lives of families evicted from the land they farmed. Oxfam is
calling on NFC and its investors to:
- Hold a full investigation into the events in Kiboga and Mubende, and make the terms of reference for the investigation and its findings, public;
- Commit to a transparent and accountable process to provide justice for the affected communities and, in consultation with affected communities and local and national authorities, ensure the provision of alternative land and compensation for lost homes, crops, livestock, and livelihoods;
- Provide damages for any abuses found to have been suffered by affected communities;
- Where failures are found, commit to reform their policies, standards, and procedures, so that such abuses can never happen again.
Uganda land case update, 8 July 2013
In September 2011, Oxfam profiled a land deal in Uganda in which villagers were being evicted to make way for timber plantations. Read an update about the case.