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uganda: shoring up support for communities affected by the bujagali dam

The Ugandan government began building the Bujagali dam on the River Nile in 2007, even though the project had previously been delayed for over ten years for many reasons, including exorbitant project costs and its predicted economic and environmental impacts.
White Nile, Bujagali Falls, UgandaWhite Nile, Bujagali Falls, Uganda. © D Pichugin, DreamstimeThe project is financed by the World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), all of which have overlooked and even ignored their own safeguard policies.


Friends of the Earth Uganda/NAPE held meetings with the Bujagali dam developers, dam affected communities, civil society organisations, and the World Bank and the AfDB, to agree on mitigation, monitoring and evaluation measures. Together with other European NGOs, Friends of the Earth Uganda also submitted a complaint to the European Investment Bank.

The government agreed to protect the Kalagala and Itanda falls to reduce the overall environmental damage caused by the Bujagali dam, and to compensate for the cultural loss that will be brought about by the submergence of the Bujagali falls. The World Bank and other donors have agreed a disclosure policy and to set aside funds to support geothermal exploration and solar energy development in Uganda.


Friends of the Earth Uganda provided the affected communities with Ecosan (Ecological Sanitation) toilets, and with rainwater harvesting tanks. They are also working with the communities, campaigning for the company to provide them with water. As a result, Bujagali Electricity Limited (BEL) also began to provide rainwater harvesting tanks to affected communities in June 2010.


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