Tanzania: Library on oil, gas in the pipeline

Oil barrel04 January 2014, Dar es Salaam:  The  largest specialised library exclusively for Oil and Gas information is to be opened in April in Dar es Salaam, thanks to efforts by local activists involved with the sub-sector, in collaboration with funding partners and other stakeholders, ‘Daily News’ has learned.

The initiative is being undertaken by the Oil, Natural, Gas and Environmental Alliance (ONGEA), the largest nation coalition of Civil Societies involved in natural gas and environmental advocacy in Tanzania. The alliance has also made efforts to translate the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 1980 into Kiswahili.

ONGEA Director, Mr Denis Maringo, noted that in a bid to ensure that Tanzanians become aware of natural gas and oil issues, having a specialised library was vital.

The alliance which is registered under the laws of Tanzania draws its membership from local communities from all over Tanzania, especially in and around Oil and Gas areas such as Kilwa, Mnazi Bay, Mafia and Mkuranga where huge deposits of gas have been discovered.

In an exclusive interview with ‘Daily News’, Mr Maringo said the idea on the library started with several prior consultative meetings which took place between 2010 and 2012 in Dar es Salaam.

He pointed out that the WWF had initially provided some 52m/- for the initial consultative undertaking on strengthening CSO and raising community awareness in the sector and also for gathering vital publications, including laws, regulations, policies and text-books on the subject matter.

“Some of these publications are to be deposited in the said library and would be accessed freely,” Mr Maringo said. Mr Maringo, the Oil and Gas lawyer and consultant based in Dar es Salaam, who is also the Director of Centre for Justice and Democracy (CJD), added that Tanzanians living in Texas, United States and Netherlands have contributed 29m/- in hard cash and another undisclosed amounts in pledges to support the initiative.

“Lack of knowledge on the laws, economics and other fundamentals of the Natural gas sub-sector is a serious concern in our country and this has largely been attributed by the unavailability of books and other publications.

This has left people guessing or simply giving inaccurate or fabricated facts on the issue,” he explained, adding that the gap was the major force behind the initiative.

Mr Maringo emphasised that with initial funds available the alliance was simply consulting with colleagues to ascertain the appropriate site for the library, taking into consideration factors such as convenience, accessibility and budgetary concerns. (Tanzania Daily News)

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