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Community Organizing against Land Grabbing” in Akwukwu-Igbo community

Community Action

Community Development Advocacy Foundation (CODAF)/Rural Community Empowerment Initiative (RUCEi) organized a training on “Community Organizing against Land Grabbing” in Akwukwu-Igbo community, held on October 4, 2020. This training which is being funded by the Global Greengrants Fund, had in attendance 20 participants from 10 selected community based associations/local groups. The trust of the training was to enhance the understanding of the local communities in Akwukwu-Igbo, on the tricks and tactics Industrial Oil Palm Companies, employ to grab land in local communities.

A customized training manual was designed for this training. The manual provides a set of advocacy strategies and tools for Advocates in developing countries as well as rural communities in the Niger Delta, whose lands have been captured for palm oil plantations or for agro-commodities. Taking learners through the manual, Mr. Ubrei-Joe, M. Mariere of CODAF engaged learners to understand the meaning of land grabbing, why Africa and rural communities are usually the target of land grabbers and the Impacts of Land grabbing on indigenous people. He further examined the tactics Palm Oil Companies use to Grab community Lands and gave account of the lessons from other impacts in the Niger Delta, according to him, though these stories are not documented in the training manual but they are part of the trainers guide specially designed for the training.

Going further, he provided a background information on the use of advocacy as a tool against land grabbing, with a broad definition of advocacy, its purpose, strategies and tools. The participants were introduced to several advocacy questions community can ask to know more about the company in their communities were also documented. Concluding the training, the participants were exposed to selected human rights tools in advocating against land grabbing. The selected tools are Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Health Impact Assessment, Social Impact Assessment, Community Needs Assessment.

Different reactions were received by the trainers and an Action plan was developed to attend to some of the reactions as documented below.

  1. The communities confirmed that they woke up one morning to see bulldozers and the presence of Military Officers in their farmlands and community forest to their shock they had lost their land to Norsworthy Investment Limited, a private firm prominent in Agro-business,
  2. Women are generally seen as enemy of progress as they continued to resist all forms of human rights violation hence, they are seen as enemy of progress in the community by community leaders. They are however constantly being marginalized,
  3. There was no Free Prior and Informed Consent and Environmental Impact Assessment conducted before the company took over their land,
  4. The activities of Norsworthy Investment Limited has sown seed of discord among the communities as they remain divided while the company continue to reap more profit,
  5. Individuals from different quarters in Akwukwu-Igbo that secured employment with the company, were only employed as casuals and non-professionals,
  6. Since the arrival of Norsworthy Investment Limited in Akwukwu-Igbo, the community have not known peace amongst themselves due to the seed of discord that have been planted by the company,
  7. Of what use is Norsworthy Investment Limited in Akwukwu-Igbo when the communities are devoid of development?
  8. Since the existence of Norsworthy Investment Limited in Akwukwu-Igbo, the people have not positively felt their presence as they have not carried out a single cooperate social responsibility,
  9. The marginalize groups (women, youth and excluded men) in the community are yet to know the content of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the leadership of the community and Delta State Government entered into with Norsworthy Investment Limited, 
Action Plan
  1. The 10 Associations mobilized to form an Umbrella body to be saddled with the responsibility of carrying out advocacy to protecting the rights of the Akwukwu-Igbo people and the environment before the end of October 2020,
  2. Youth to organized an advocacy visit to key community leaders and the King in a bid to discussing and inquiry about their level of commitment and MOU the community entered with the Company to enable them to develop key demands which they would use to engage the company in their advocacy. This action is to be completed by early November 2020,
  3. Leaders of the association trained to do step down training for their members within one week after the completion of the training and learning process.

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CODAF also known as Rural Community Empowerment Initiative (RUCEi) works to bridge the communication gap between policy makers and the grassroots AND raise awareness of rural dwellers and empowering them to be active players in environmental decision making.

This mandate is anchored on article 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which states that “All peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development


To engage in intervention projects that builds the capacity and empowers rural community people to defend their collective rights to participating in natural resource governance through a right-based approach


To engage in intervention projects that builds the capacity and empowers rural community people to defend their collective rights to participating in natural resource governance through a right-based approach


We envision a self-sufficient community in the management of their environment and resources without any form of marginalization.