|Battling for corporate accountability: experiences from titanium mining campaign in Kwale, Kenya; a paper presented at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex Seminar on Linking Rights and Participation: Sharing Experiences and Opportunities|
Ojiambo, E. V. (2002). Battling for corporate accountability: experiences from titanium mining campaign in Kwale, Kenya; a paper presented at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex Seminar on Linking Rights and Participation: Sharing Experiences and Opportunities. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. 70 pp.
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The titanium campaign shows the application of diverse advocacy strategies in the fight against exploitation of the lowly by the mighty, degradation of a natural heritage, advocacy against scientific diplomacy, and more so, advocacy against laws which are relics of the colonial era. The highly successful campaign against the titanium mining project, as currently designed, has proven the unchallenged role of advocacy as a tool for empowering communities to defend their birth right. Thus, when other systems -political, legal, economic, diplomacy, even sheer logic fail to make sense out of emerging situations, advocacy offers the most promise. Advocacy is never an end in itself. Rather, it is a means towards attaining a community felt need or goal. Further, though the process initially targets only a single goal, advocacy is notorious for unearthing many otherwise silent obstacles, which consequently become goals to be confronted alongside the original concern. In the context of the campaign against titanium mining, the advocacy process would be an effort in futility if it became an end in itself. Rather, having identified weak points previously exploited to defend and push forward the titanium mining proposal, the process should subsequently be refocused towards addressing these and other loopholes which investors can exploit to disposess communities of their birthrights. That way, the campaign against Tiomin would contribute towards securing the property rights for Kenyans both today and in generations to come. Sitting back and sifting through the files upon files of information assembled during the campaign against titanium mining, one is overwhelmed by the sheer effort and quantity of resources that were marshalled to generate the information needed to back up the cause against titanium mining in Kwale. Indeed, aware that information is power and that he who wields information wields power, the Forum embarked on a fierce campaign to generate information for cross checking the reports being churned out by Tiomin. Diverse strategies, which included commissioning of a parallel EIA study, research on the internet to access relevant databases, networking with advocacy groups to share experiences, and so on were all successfully applied in the data search. In 58 particular, the collation of case studies featuring activities similar to the proposed titanium mining, which detailed the experiences of affected communities, impacts on target communities, the reaction of the culprit multinationals, etc., only served to deepen the mistrust for multinationals in general and Tiomin in particular, thus strengthening the resolve to fight titanium mining at Kwale.