This chapter discusses how artisanal miners negotiate their survival within a diamond-resourced area in Shinyanga, Tanzania. It explores how insensitive mineral resource governance systems converge over time with ecological and infrastructural challenges to constrain people’s livelihoods. In the absence of better sources of living, the local population strives to survive through ubeshi, the stealing of diamond-bearing materials from within a large-scale Mining Company area formerly owned by Williamson Diamond Mines Limited (WDL). This practice has become accepted as ‘a way of life’ by those involved, and engages players of different social positions, irrespective of many efforts made to curb it. Analyzing agency from the bottom, the chapter explains how a group of people are molded, respond and strive to co-exist within a challenging institutional context that is not favorable to small-scale operators.
Mwaipopo, R. Ubeshi - negotiating co-existence: artisanal and large-scale relations in diamond mining. In: Mining and social transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and democratizing trends in artisanal production. Routledge, Abingdon, UK 161-175. ISBN 9780415833707