HakiMadini essentially started as a reaction to the human rights abuses that were occurring during late 1990s in mining communities. Of particular focus were the Tanzanite mines in Mererani. Activities initially included: fighting for the rights of service providers to conduct business near mining areas thus providing an essential livelihood supplement; working with the accident investigation committee and deputy minister to resolve disputes between SMM and Tanzanite One.
Very rapidly it became apparent that Mererani was not an isolated case and the problems faced there epitomized much of what was happening in mining areas all over Tanzania. In Bulyanhulu an extremely dramatic example of this occurred were over 200,000 small scale miners were evicted from their land to make way for the large scale mine, Canadian owned mine (See “A Golden a example of Globalization” in resource center).
HakiMadini had to evolve rapidly and grow in scope in order to reflect the increasingly complex situation in the mining areas, not only in terms of dealing with the effect of increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and a new mining policy but with ground level issues such as high H.I.V prevalence, family violence, livelihood alternatives, and economic empowerment. Being a small organisation, networking became essential and key foundation for the way we operate. Partnerships grew with local NGOs such as Lawyer’s Environmental Action Teat (LEAT) and the Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), foreign NGOs such as Oxfam, MS Tanzania, unions and workers movements such as Arusha Regional Miners Association (AREMA) and Manyara Regional Miners Association (MAREMA) plus credit networks such as Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS). As partnerships grew the range of activities and programs widen. In 2008 HakiMadini opened a second office in Arusha to improve its capacity in advocacy and awareness raising an since that time the office has been very active in policy lobbying, hosting community forums, and media campaigns (see advocacy section) and making new partnerships such as the Rosa Luxemburg foundation and Small Industries Development Organisations (SIDO).
HakiMadini is now the only rights based organisation in the mining sector which advocates for a more equitable distributions of Tanzanians abundant natural wealth. The organisation is also unique in that it now operates on a local, regional, national and international level. We are not a union or miners but view ourselves as catalyst for change. We focus on strengthening voices, connecting various stakeholders for collective engagement, and working together to protect the rights of small scale mining communities, ensuring transparency and accountability and that Tanzanian’s benefit from a pro poor mining sector.