Oil Money Damage Poor

Africa's largest development project, a 650-mile, £2.8bn oil pipeline between Chad and Cameroon damages the interests of the poor as the Chad government has already spent the first £10m of grant money it received from the consortium. This money was to be spent on the educational and development projects but not on governmental security forces.

The indignation over the governmental corruption and dishonesty was stated by environmental, religious groups arguing that the construction of the pipeline has damaged the interests of people along its entire length: water supplies have been damaged, pygmies have lost hunting lands, farmers have lost land and crops and an influx of immigrant workers has brought child prostitution and spread Aids. The development has also caused inflation, doubling the price of basic foods and so causing malnutrition among the poor.

Currently 300 wells are being drilled in the Doba fields of southern Chad. The pipeline will take the oil 15 miles out to sea where a floating storage vessel will load 225,000 barrels a day into tankers. Oil should begin to flow in 2004.

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