Perceptions on Early and Expected Effects of Natural Gas Investments on the Coastal Communities of Mtwara and Lindi Regions in Tanzania

Opportuna Kweka


This paper examines the early and expected effects of a natural gas investment in the regions of Mtwara and Lindi in Tanzania. Using information from the survey and focus groups, the paper examines the perceptions of the communities and finds mixed social and economic effects. In general, the initial investment in Songosongo pipeline shows some positive outcomes as compared the new investment in the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam pipeline. More of the positive effects are on social services such as the provision of water and health services. Some of the positive outcomes on casual employment were reported in the initial stages of investments in Mtwara. Whereas quantitative data shows that the effects are generally positive, qualitative results show some communities have grievances due to the fact that their earlier expectectation have not been met. In Songosongo, the results show some pecuniary benefits, yet communities reported some environmental pollution, with flourishing seaweeds and dying fish and social problems, such as prostitution due to population increase. In Mtwara, the communities still have high expectations. These preliminary findings call for a follow-up study since the effects are likely to change with time, which justifies the need for a large-scale study in these regions.

Keywords: impact on oil and gas, local communities, investment, southern Tanzania, local content

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