When gas was discovered off the coast of Mozambique many, including Mozambique’s citizens, foretold that Mozambique would become the continents new economic powerhouse and they looked forward to prosperity and the raising of living standards. Fast-forward 14 years and the prediction that Mozambique’s citizens emerging as winners due to the gas reserves has failed to manifest. With more than half of Mozambique’s citizens still living below the poverty line many are dependent on fishing to feed themselves and their families. Yet because of the influx foreign gas corporations in Mozambique’s coastal areas, citizen’s livelihood has been threatened.
Firstly gas corporations such as Texan company Anadarko prevent fishermen, in Palma, from entering their main fishing area in order to allow for Anadarko to exploit Mozambique’s gas reserve. Furthermore fish has now become scarce since companies have initiated explorations; the blasting underwater has resulted in scaring fish away, coupled with the drilling makes the water cloudy making it extremely difficult for fishermen to catch, seeing as they employ traditional fishing methods such as physically diving to great depths to herd fish into nets.
It is apparent that the Mozambique Palma population are emerging as the losers in absolute terms as their livelihoods are vanishing. Palma citizens themselves identify as the losers as they acknowledge the fact that they are losing access to their fishing grounds, furthermore gas corporations are causing long-term environmental damage which indicates that the future generations of Mozambique will emerge as the losers too due to the tainting of fish with chemicals as well as disturbing the sea bed by tainting it with chemicals.
Gas corporations, such as Anadarko, meanwhile are merging as the winners for the reason that they are gaining profits from the exploitation of Mozambique’s gas reserve without holding any responsibility for the loss of fishermen’s livelihood. This is simply another example of corporations gaining a higher status compared to human beings further indicating that humans are seeing the erosion of their social rights thereby losing in the contemporary global political economy in absolute terms.