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Perenco Muanda, Dem. Rep. Congo


The French-British company Perenco is the DRC's (Democratic Republic of Congo) sole oil producer and is one of the largest investors in the country. They arrived in the DRC in 2000 after CHEVRON sold their concessions. Perenco's onshore drilling program started in 2002 and offshore in 2004. The company has extensively invested in new wells, they have got between 250 to 800 wells. Perenco will normally continue operating in DRC until 2030.

In February 2009, concerned about the situation, two organisations (RRN and IPIS) mobilized experts to assess the impacts of the Perenco's activities on public health and environment in Muanda. The experts concluded there is a real problem of public health in Muanda. They have observed an increased incidence of cataract, glaucoma, trauma, conjunctival tumors, etc.

Another civil society organisations (CCFD-Terres Solidaires and ADEV) published a report focusing on the environmental injustices impacted by PERENCO in Muanda.

In December 2013, Senate recommended Perenco to clean up the region of Muanda and to invest more in social programs for communities in Muanda.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Perenco Muanda, Dem. Rep. Congo
Country:Congo, Dem. Rep.
State or province:Bas-Congo
Location of conflict:Muanda
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details

PERENCO bougth the Muanda concessions from CHEVRON in 2000.

Perenco's onshore drilling program started in 2002 and offshore in 2004.

Since 2004, the company produces 25.000 barrels/day (15.000 from offshore and 10.000 from onshore).

Perenco has got 260 to 800 wells in Muanda.

Project area:40,000
Level of Investment:75,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/01/2008
Company names or state enterprises:Perenco (PERENCO)
Relevant government actors:Governor of Bas-Congo, Senators
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coordination Nationale Réseau Ressources Naturelles (RRN), Actions pour les Droits, l'Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), IPIS, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Association Africaine des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Observatoire pour la protection des Défenseurs des Droits de l'Homme (OMCT)

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition
Other Health impactsRecrudescence of disease like cataract, glaucoma, trauma, conjunctival tumors
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Fostering a culture of peace
Development of alternatives:PERENCO developed appropriate drilling techniques to reduce the development costs ; rationalised the production pipeline network.
The company has funded social and environmental programs integrating communities in Muanda. For instance, they built a library with more than 10.000 books and internet access for the local population. They renovated the airport and some roads.
PERENCO has also provided gas and electricity to many villages in Muanda.
PERENCO works with the BUNKETE NGO for garbage collection and financed the installation of a landfill.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:According to the Observatory of multinationals, the benefits of this project for Muanda are extremely low compared to PERENCO's benefits. In his report, Olivier Petitjean from this Observatory, didn't hesitate to to describe Muanda as "the world's poorest oil city". In Muanda, the unemployment rate is 95%.
According to CCFD-Terre and ADEV, local population in Muanda has suffered from environmental degradations, pollutions and social upheaval since PERENCO began its activities. In december 2009, local villagers from Kongo and Tshiende denounced the pollution of their land and rivers as well as the toxic waste near their villages.
PERENCO has always claimed that the company has always fostered a culture of peace. But many Human Rights NGOs are very concerned of the criminalization of local farmers and activists. In december 15th 2009, 15 farmers were arrested and jailed after participating in a peaceful demonstration in front of the PERENCO's oil terminal ('near Kongo and Tshiende villages).

Sources and Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Perenco en RDC : quand le pétrole rend les pauvres encore plus pauvres

23 janvier 2014 par Olivier Petitjean

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

The oil exploitation project PERENCO Muanda submitted to the Governor of Bas-Congo

PERENCO website

PERENCO's activities impacts in Muanda

DRC: Senate recommends Perenco to clean up Muanda

Other documents

Environmental and health impacts of PERENCO's project in Muanda

Perenco site

Perenco site

Meta information

Last update12/02/2015



Perenco site


Perenco site