Advocating for a Better Future in Chiatura
Decades of improper manganese extraction practices in the Chiatura municipality have led to major social, environmental, and health issues, including poor working conditions, health problems among the local population, and unstable land that compromises the structural integrity of homes and buildings.
Local CSO Chiatura of the Future is working to empower local communities to address these issues and protect their rights and interests. With support from the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program, the organization’s representatives, along with the Chiatura Youth Club have made frequent visits to villages damaged by mining activities; met with locals and informed them about their health, employment, and property rights, and mobilized communities to advocate for addressing these problems. Along with these activities, the organization has adopted a five-point action plan for Chiatura’s better future and presented this plan to wider audiences, including local government representatives.
In early February 2023, the manganese-mining company in Chiatura closed all its underground mines and directed its resources towards open-pit mining only. This decision was originally made for a three-month period and later extended for an additional month, withholding 40% of workers’ salaries during the temporary layoff. Chiatura of the Future and lawyers from other CSOs delivered legal consultations to the affected miners and have pledged to support them in case their labor conditions continue to worsen.
Chiatura of the Future and other human-rights and environmental CSOs, including Green Alternative, Social Justice Center, Civic Activities Centre, and online media organization Mountain News are continuing to monitor the environmental and social developments in Chiatura. These organizations continue to support the local population through various means like legal aid and advocacy efforts focused on securing a better future for the people living in this municipality.