Briefing Document / Aug. 22, 2012

Artisanal mining communities in eastern DRC: seven baseline studies in the Kivus

A summary by Global Witness, June 2012

Read our briefing document summarising baseline evaluations of artisanal mining communities in eastern DRC.

Seven baseline evaluations of artisanal mining communities in eastern Democratic Republic ofCongo (DRC) reveal that local communities rate insecurity as the main reason for sustained orincreased poverty. The studies found that other interconnected factors, including populationdisplacement and access to land and markets, also contribute to the poverty and hardshipsendured by mining communities in North and South Kivu.

The studies were authored by three international non-governmental humanitarian organisations,Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development (CCFD),and Solidarités International and one Congolese organisation, the Commission on NaturalResources of the DRC Bishops’ Conference (CERN).In South Kivu four mining communities (Luttwinja, Ninja, Nzibira and Mukungwe, all in Walunguterritory) were surveyed jointly by CRS, CCFD and CERN between August and October 2011. In North Kivu, Solidarités International surveyed six mining communities (Mubi, Banamutabira,Banamatumo, Walikale Centre, Ndjingala and Banabuhini/Kibua, all in Walikale territory) betweenDecember 2011 and January 2012.

The situation in artisanal mining communities has often been inaccurately represented in theinternational ‘conflict minerals’ debate. These reports evaluate a range of factors that affect miningcommunities in North and South Kivu, including the impact of industry response to the U.S. Dodd-Frank conflict minerals law. They highlight the fluidity of local economies and community responsesto these rapidly changing local dynamics. In the communities surveyed, armed group activities oftenhad the greatest impact on daily life.