NAPE (Uganda) Responds to Minister of Energy

NAPE (Uganda)
Friday, December 17, 2004

Lashing Out at NGOs will not bring electricity to Uganda: Response to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Syda N. M. Bbumba’s Article Titled,"Response to Article attributed to Col. (RTD) Dr. Kiiza Besigye"

The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has critically studied, analyzed and reflected on the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Syda Bbumba’s statement, which appeared in the Sunday Monitor and Sunday Vision of November 18, 2004. We note that the article by the Minister mentions NAPE, Save Bujagali Crusade (SBC) and International Rivers as civic groups, which fought tooth and nail to ensure that the Bujagali project did not take place. She claimed that the organizations were not as professional as their names suggest.

...the Minister further implied that NAPE, SBC and International Rivers are more or less continuing to oppose the project illegally by writing numerous letters to the funders of the project. To justify the project further, she quotes Sabastian Mallaby who in his new book, The World’s Banker, claims that an environmental catastrophe would befall Uganda if the Bujagali project were not built.

Of great concern to NAPE is that, just like Sabastian Mallaby’s book, which Hon. Bbumba quotes, the minister’s article contains a number of falsehoods and misstatements on the energy sector in Uganda in general and the Bujagali Dam Project in particular.

...In our view, the backlash against NGOs will not solve the problems of the Bujagali Project. Neither will it fix the current problems causing load–shedding, nor will the behind closed–doors approach to energy development in Uganda.

NAPE is a respected group throughout the world, working on positive change in the energy sector and pressing for cleaner and cheaper alternatives. At the moment NAPE is working to bring all stakeholders into a collaborative discussion in dams and development (World Commission on Dams Recommendations) in Uganda. These efforts will improve decision making in the energy sector in Uganda. We believe we are playing a crucial role to strengthen government’s social responsibility in the 21st Century. (continue...)

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