Towards Making World Commission on Dams (WCD) Guidelines Work in Uganda: A Civil Society Perspective

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

F.C. Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C.

Deputy Coordinator, Save Bujagali Crusade (SBC) & Secretary, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE)Contact Information

Paper for the International Workshop on the Launching of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) Report "Dams and Development: A New Framework for Decision–Making" in Uganda organised by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) under the Theme "Making WCD Guidelines work in Uganda", and held at Hotel Africana Kampala, Uganda, on the 19th October, 2004.

Read some quotes about the project here.


Essential Historical Knowledge of Large Dam Building

Dams have had a long history of being constructed. McCully (1998) has reviewed this history. The earliest dams, according to him, were constructed around 3000 BC in the area occupied by present–day Jordan. Four hundred years later Egyptians were constructing their own dams. By the late first millennium BC people around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, China and Central America had constructed dams too. Those behind the construction of dams were dictatorial (absolute) rulers, who, as a rule rather than an exception, made unilateral decisions to have the dams constructed.

According to Hancock (1989), behind the chain of large dams in modern times have been billions of dollars from the World Bank, an all powerful large dam/hydropower lobby, and the greedy corrupt rulers (see also Oweyegha–Afuanduula, 2004).

The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), the leading dam–industry association (or social force), defines a ‘large dam’ as ‘a dam measuring 15 metres or more from foundation to crest –taller than a four–story building (McCully, 1998). The dam industry defines a ‘major dam’ as ‘a dam that is at least 150 metres high, at least 15 million cu. metres in volume, with a reservoir capacityof at least 25 cu. kilometers and an electricalgeneration capacity of at least 1,000 megawatts’.

The era of large dams is said to have began with the commissioning, on 30th September 1935, of the gigantic 221 metre–high Hoover dam on the Colorado River in the United States of America. However, Hoover dam is today exceeded in height 14 dams, namely: Nurek (300 metres) in Tadkistan; Grande Dixence (285 metres) in Switzerland; Inguri (272 metres) in Georgia; Vaiont (262 metres) in Italy; Tehri (261 metres); Chicoasen (261metres) in Mexico; Mauvoisin (250 metres) in Switzerland; Guavio (246 metres) in Columbia; Sayano–Shushensk (245 metres) in Russia; Mica ( 242 metres) in Canada; Ertan (240 metres) in China; Chivor (237 metres) in Columbia; Kishau (236 metres) in India; El Cajon (234 metres) in Honduras; Chirkey (233 metres) in Russia; Oroville ( 230 metres) in USA; and Bhakra (226 metres) in India.

According to the United Nations’2003 World Water Development Report, 60% of the World’s 227 largest rivers are severely fragmented by dams, diversions and canals. China is the most dammed country today, with some 19000 dams, and is at the moment engaged implementing the most ambitious and largest dam project yet undertaken –Three Gorges Dam – and which has displaced hundreds of thousands of peasants and involved billions of dollars in bribes. The country had only eight large dams by the start, in 1949, of Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s revolution.

ICOLD’s (1988) World Register of Dams lists the United States of America (USA) as the Second most dammed country (5459) followed by the former Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) today called CIS (3000), Japan (2228), India (1137), Spain (737), South Korea (690), Canada (608), Great Britain (535), Brazil (516), Mexico (503), France (468), South Africa (452), Italy (4400, Australia (409), Norway (245), Germany (191), Former Czechoslovakia (146), Switzerland (!44) and Sweden (141). The 1995 International Water Power and Dam Construction Handbook shows that the situation remained much the same. However, there was an accelerated rate of dam construction in the poor regions of the World. McCully (1998) estimated that the World had some 800,000 small dams of which 96,000 were in the USA.

Large dams have, through human history, been to many writers, developmentalists, dictators, rulers, leaders, engineers, bureaucrats and revolutionaries, potent symbols of both patriotic pride and the conquest of nature by human ingenuity (e.g., McCully, 1998). Today large dams represent the workings and dominant influence of the sterile culture of money over the weaker cultures, which often crumble under this influence (e.g., Oweyegha–Afuanduula, 2004).

ICOLD estimates that the World’s rivers are now obstructed by more than 40,000 large dams all but 5000 of them built since 1950 (McCully, 1998). Together with the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) and the recently formed International Hydropower Association (IHA), ICOLD has vigorously lobbied over the years for more large dams, particularly in the poor regions of the World, ostensibly to drive development.

To their lovers, large dams have been and continue to be more than just machines to generate electricity and store water. They have been and continue to be concrete, rock and earth expressions of technoarrogance (or the dominant ideology of the technologic age) or icons of economic development and scientific progress, matching the airplane, motorcar and the nuclear bomb (e.g., McCully, 1998).

Uganda’s first large dam, also the World’s largest capacity reservoir dam, Owen Falls (or Nalubaale), was completed and commissioned on April 19, 1954 by the Queen Elizabeth of England. The 34–metre dam was technically designed to have a greater reservoir capacity than any other dam in the World but did not create a totally new body of water, instead increasing the volume of the 68,000 square mile, 2700 cu. km natural lake (Lake Victoria) by a height of two metres. It should be of interest to know that the next large capacity dams are Ukraine’s Kakhovaskaya and the Zambian/Zimbabwean Kariba dams with capacity reservoirs of 182,000 cu. metres and 180, 600 cu. metres respectively.

According to Onek (2004) Owen Falls Dam was designed in such a way that its water head of 18.9 metres would fall by only 0.5 metres in the dry season and increase by 0.5 metres during the rainy season so that the operating height of the dam is between 18.4 metres (Minimum) and 19.4 metres (Maximum). The difference of one metre between the lowest and the highest levels of water provide the operational lake reservoir that cushions and ensures the desired flow of water downstream and for power production at Jinja (Onek, 2004).

The latest large dam in Uganda is the Owen Falls Extension Dam (or Kiira), which was built adjacent to Owen Falls Dam, designed to use diverted water behind Owen Falls Dam and commissioned in 2002 by President Museveni. At the time of commissioning this dam, the Energy Minister, Syda Bbumba, denied reports then that both the Owen Falls Dam and the Owen Falls Extension Dam would not work at full capacity due to lack of enough water (Kakaire, 2004). Even NAPE’s stand that the two dams cannot operate simultaneously was ignored (Muramuzi, 2004, quoted in the press in October) although this stand was a result of a credible study called "Uganda–Potential Hydropower Sites" by a firm called SWECO International and commissioned in 2000. This study, which noted that since all the water (including the hitherto excess) was being used for generation, the installation of additional units at Owen Falls Extension dam would not lead to increased capacity at Jinja, had its findings hidden from the public up to date.

The World Bank–funded, pro–large dam, pro–hydropower Energy Master Plan for Uganda, which was designed in the last decade of the 20th Century by the Canadian dam and hydropower–loving firm, Acres International, with World Bank funding, recommended a cascade of six large dams on the River Nile, including Ayago South, Ayago North, Bujagali, and, Kalagala, Kamdin/Karuma and Murchison Falls. The Uganda Government has since then committed itself to religiously pursuing the plan although it had been known for some time that Acres International had been involved in a bribery scandal involving well over one billion dollars (e.g., Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 2000) in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, for which the firm was recently sanctioned by the World Bank. It has recently been revealed that Acres International, in a study funded by the World Bank, made serious technical errors in its data that were the basis of constructing the failed Owen Falls Extension dam (Onek, 2004) and even inflated the cost of Karuma dam by well over $200 m in order to make it appear that constructing Bujagali would be cheaper than constructing Karuma. It is this cost engineering by Acres International that is responsible for the saying that Bujagali is the last cost dam of the six large dams proposed by the Energy Master Plan.

The fresh craze to dam the Nile starting with Bujagali is driven by policies that stress that the use of hydropower from large dams is legal and legitimate, while the use of alternative energy resources and small hydro is illegal and illegitimate (Afunaduula Isaac and Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 2004).
Role of the World Bank in Damming Rivers

It is inconceivable to talk about large dams apart from the World Bank because it is the World Bank whose principal business has been to finance huge dams. Hancock (1989) has recorded that billions of World Bank dollars have been siphoned into ill–conceived dam projects, particularly in the poor countries. One of such projects has turned out to be the Owen Falls Extension Dam, which we now know cannot operate unless Owen Falls Dam is shut down (Onek, 2004). Between 1970and 1985, the World Bank funded 26 large dams annually (see the 2003 World Water Resources Strategy of the World Bank, WWF, 2003).

It seems that the World Bank’s enormous autonomy, freedom to decide and the excessively bigger proportionate ownership by the Western countries have been its greatest weapons for damming the World’s rivers since 1950. Although registered as a United Nations specialised agency, its relationship to the United Nations is tenuous in the extreme (e.g., Hancock, 1989).The Management of the Bank is not accountable to the United Nations but to its own Board of Directors. Recently, for example, the World Bank unilaterally told Uganda to rethink her damming plans by ensuring that new assessments of the country’s energy options, including Karuma (Mutumba, 2004). According to the World Bank’s Lead Financial Analyst, Karen Rasmussen,

re–assessment of the scope, design and economic, technical, financial, institutional and social aspects of any new power project will be required by potential financiers, including the World Bank Group, donors commercial Banks and export credit agencies ( Mutumba, 2004). This could have led to President Yoweri Museveni’s expression of anger and frustration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (Mwanguhya and Nandutu, 2004) when he said "They [IMF and World Bank] have failed me." President Museveni believes that there can be no development without construction of dams, most especially Bujagali dam.
Declining Trend in Dam Finance

Investment in dam construction for hydropower and water supply has, unfortunately, declined significantly in recent years as a result of (i) an overall drop in funds available for these development initiatives; (ii) greater awareness of the social and environmental consequences of large dams; (iii) the best sites for large dams have already been taken; (iv) governments are faced by increasing direct financial constraints; and (v) cost recovery has often proved poor. The trend, however, has been towards more private rather than public funding of huge dams (WWF, 2003), with independent power developers (IPDs) such as Eskom, a South African State energy firm, and AES Inc of the United States, dominating the energy sector in Uganda’s energy sector since the last quarter of the last decade of the 20th Century . This was helped by the so–called business confidentiality, whose primary function has been to fuel and maintain a formidable government–corporate circle of secrecy where such IPDs are operating.
The Great Global Dams’ Debate

Therefore, despite the destructive social, cultural, environmental, ecological and ethical–moral record of large dams, the availability of many other ways of satisfying human needs for energy and of managing land and water, large dam projects continue to be proposed and built. There are two reasons for this: (i) The construction of huge dams benefits the powerful political and economic interests; and (ii) The process of planning, promoting and building dams is usually secretive and hidden from public scrutiny (e.g., McCully, 1998). What all this means is that the sufferers of dams –the poor –directly through loss of their livelihoods, or indirectly through government subsidies, to uneconomic and "white elephant" projects, find themselves unable to demand accountability and transparency from the powerful (McCully, 1998).

Fortunately, the rise in power and solidarity of environmental non–governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the areas of water, energy, dams and environment and development have ushered in a great and pervading global dams’ debate (GDD). This debate has assumed diverse geographical, ideological, professional and even political stances. It has involved environmentalists, utility operators, governments, NGOs, academics, people displaced by dams, experts in engineering, food security, gender, human rights, fisheries, ecology, trade, tourism, education and privatisation; the World Bank and its transparency and accountability watchdog –the Inspection Panel; the World Bank’s private investment arm called International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Anti–corruption Unit of the World Bank; and several institutions scattered around the World ( e.g. Esty and Sesia, 2004). Also involved the great debate have been the powerful global hydropower and dam lobby championed by ICOLD, ICID and IHA; the powerful global environmental lobby to which International Rivers and Friends of the Earth belong; IPDs (principally AES but now also ESkOM); and the international credit institutions in many developed countries (e.g. Proparco of France). It is a debate that has, therefore, involved virtually every sector of the economy.

The debate has been intense and divisive particularly as regards the costs and benefits of large dams in terms of their social, environmental and economic impacts. Issues of transparency, accountability, human rights, culture, morality, ethics, spirituality, technoarrogance, techno–ignorance, political engineering, participation engineering, corruption and alternatives have assumed a center–stage in the debate. When locally based NGOs in the South, such as NAPE, have been able to influence the great global debate, it has often been said that this would not be possible without god–fathers in the North. In fact proponents of dams have believed that such NGOs are receiving enormous amounts of money, perhaps billions, from Northern NGOs to frustrate damming of rivers in the South.

The global dams’ debate has recently assumed political dimensions with the recent publication of a book by Mallaby (2004) claiming that NAPE and the International Rivers are sabotaging foreign relations.
The Great Uganda Dams’ Debate

In Uganda, the dams’ debate has pitied the Uganda government and its global collaborators or partners in the water and energy sectors, principally the World Bank, dam builders and IPDs, against principally the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and the Save Bujagali Crusade (SBC) buttressed by occasional participation in the debate by international NGOs. However, the universities and institutions active in the water and energy sectors have largely kept out of the debate. The same applies to the dam–affected people, who were manipulated by government and corporate into believing that they would benefit before and after the construction of Bujagali dam. It can confidently be stated that a conspiracy of both silence and fear has been responsible for this state of affairs.

Until recently the focus of the dams’ debate in Uganda has been on the proposed Bujagali dam. This is one in the cascade of dams desired by the Government of Uganda, the World Bank and the dam building industry in the Uganda portion of the River Nile.

The Uganda Government, the World Bank, dam builders and independent power developers have jointly, persistently and consistently maintained that the dam is not only the least–cost dam, but that it should also be excluded from application of the WCD framework because it had been targeted for hydropower development before the onset of the WCD process. However, led principally by NAPE and SBC, local environmental NGOs have also jointly, persistently and consistently too differed from this conspiratorial stance. In addition, they have maintained that Bujagali is an important cultural and spiritual site for the multi–clanned, 2.4 million Basoga, and that if the dam were built, these people would suffer spiritual and cultural death (Oweyegha–Afunaduula and Muramuzi, 2001). The result has been a stalemate in foreign policy in the water and energy sectors (e.g., WCD, 2000, Mallaby, 2004).

Of great interest was that the debate began at a time when the Uganda Government was nursing the grand idea that Uganda could become the powerhouse of the Great Lakes Region (Nannozi, 2004). AES Nile Power and Norpak were quickly put in place and the South African State Energy firm, Eskom, rushed in, to benefit from the privatisation of the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB). The debate continues helped by (i) the non–changing belief of the participating local and international NGOs that Bujagali is a bad project; (ii) the recent political engineering of the cost of Bujagali to $350 million, down from $ 580 million, in an attempt to flout repeated demands by environmental NGOs that a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) coupled with a new cost–benefit analysis should be undertaken if Bujagali project is to be credible or legitimate; (iii) the split between President Yoweri Museveni and his Minister of Energy, Syda Bbumba, over Bujagali and Karuma, with the former (supported by the World Bank) now wishing that the two dams should be built simultaneously, and the latter insisting that Bujagali should be built first and then Karuma; (iv) the recent decline in the Lake Victoria water levels; (v) the aging and cracking of Owen Falls dam; and (vi) what is being called "excess baggage of new firms" in Uganda’s energy sector, including Eskom, Umeme, Uganda Electricity Generation Company (UEGC), Uganda Electricity Distribution Company (UEDC), Uganda Electricity Transmission Company, Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), and Wakisi, a consortium made of Eskom and the Industrial Development Corporation, alongside UEB, which is not yet wound up.

Because of the Government and World Bank obsession with Bujagali dam, the Bujagali Falls and the proposed dam were excluded from the jurisdiction of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the brainchild of the World Bank. As a result, the two have also been excluded from a recently launched World Bank–funded strategic assessment of social and environmental impacts of power projects in the Great Lakes Region, under the auspices of the NBI. This can only help sustain and complicate the dams’ debate both globally and locally. As noted elsewhere in this paper, the debate has already sucked in the aging, cracking and over–silted Owen Falls Dam and the almost failed "white elephant" Owen Extension Dam (Mwanguhya–Mpagi and Izama, 2004; Ntabadde, 2004; Onek, 2004; Onyalla, 2004), with a recent revelation that the two facilities cannot be operated simultaneously–.that one must be shut down for the other to be operational.

It seems the Uganda dams’ debate is set to become even more complex with (i) the World Bank’s skeptism regarding Uganda’s capacity to pay the $ 890 million loan in case the Bank, which now agrees with President Museveni’s new proposal (or wish) that Bujagali and Karuma be built simultaneously, decided to extend the loan to the Uganda Government; (ii) the World Bank’s contestation of the Uganda Government’s estimate of 8% growth rate for the country’s domestic power demand as overoptimistic, and suggestion that it is only 4%; (iii) the recent revelation by the dam–affected people in Namilyango resettlement village in Naminya, Buikwe North, Mukono District, that virtually all the promises made to them by AES Nile Power with Government endorsement, remain unfulfilled several years after they were uprooted from their former lands (Tayebwa, 2004)?; (iv) Uganda Government’s determination to continue with the floppy and fraudulent Bujagali dam project, with much faith in a fraudulently executed EIA that is now a decade old, by inviting new developers and pre–qualifying Aga Khan Group’s IPS Company, Montgomerie, Watson and Harza of Chicago, Wakisi, FMO of Netherlands, Infrastructure Finance Group of the UK, and Sturky Engineering and construction of Switzerland as if nothing is grossly wrong with the dam process (see Nannozi, 2004); (v) the launching of the WCD Report in Uganda; and (vi) the very recent intervention by the World Bank in the Uganda government plans to dam the Nile (Mutumba, 2004).

It is absolutely important that if we are to resolve conflicts over water resource management and dams, we can no longer ignore the range of dam impacts of the Bujagali type, whereby affected people are deprived, manipulated, deceived, denied, excluded and devastated. Therefore, the critical question is: how do we resolve the complex issues that are emerging and will emerge from the increasingly complex dams’ debate?

The answer seems to lie with the outcomes (findings and recommendations) of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) as an alternative framework for decision–making in the area of dams and development, and the concrete follow–up global and local initiatives to have these outcomes implemented by governments’, dam–industry opposition and tendencies to undermine the outcomes notwithstanding (e.g., Tayebwa, 2004).
World Commission on Dams Process
The Manibeli Declaration 1994

The origins of WCD could be traced to 1994 when some 2000 organisations came together and signed what is called the Manibeli Declaration as a first step towards resolving the complex dam issues similar to those currently faced by the resettled Bujagali community (Tayebwa, 2004). However, the WCD may be said to have emerged out of a historical process that has seen large dams being discussed as one of the most intensely debated issues in the area of water, energy, dams and development and sustainable development (eg Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 2004; Babirye and Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 2004). It was conceptualised and established out of a policy deadlock (stalemate).

Interestingly, both proponents and opponents of large dams endorsed the establishment of the process and together, they asked the World Bank to initiate the process. The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which was actually the initiator of the steps towards forming the global commission, joined the World Bank to ensure that the process proceedded well. In April 1997, the two jointly organised the unique multi–stakeholder workshop (dialogue) at Gland, Switzerland, which resulted in the agreement to establish the WCD and the creation of the Interim Working Group (IWG), which was mandated to make it a reality.
WCD: New World Order?

Therefore, it is true to say that WCD was, in essence, an initiative of the World Bank and the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Sometimes referred to as the ‘Spirit of Gland’ (WCD, 2001), WCD more or less stood out as a prototype for the real New World Order (NWO) because it was not dominated by any one agency, or by any one government, the United Nations, the World Bank or even the IUCN (Asmal, 1999). The Commissioners were eminent persons from the forefront of the dams’ debate and, as a group, represented all the World that intersects therein; International Business, NGOs involved in environmental and social activism, academia, government and the engineering professionals (Asmal, 1999). Mistrusts and suspicions soon gave way to consensus
The Task of WCD

According to the Chairman of the WCD, Professor Kader Asmal, the task of WCD was threefold (Asmal, 2000):

* To conduct a rigorous, independent review of development effectiveness of larger dams
* To asses alternatives
* To propose practical guidelines for future decision–making

However, one crucial mandate of the WCD was to enable the development of a rational, open and inclusive dialogue on the role of large dams in sustainable development (WCD, 1999). This was considered necessary because decision makers became stranded in the middle of a polarised debate between:

* The imperative to assure the supply of water, electricity and flood control to domestic agricultural and industrial interests
* The desire to ensure that human conditions and environmental considerations were not ignored in the process

Regional WCD Consultations

In order to accomplish its tasks, WCD erected regional consultations, which came to form an essential element of its communications and outreach programme (COP). The consultations were seen as a means of collating the large body of lessons, experience and perspectives of large dams and their alternatives that exist at regional and national level for regional consultations were scheduled during the life of the WCD, namely:

* South Asia Regional Consultation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 10–12 December 1998
* Latin American Regional Consultation held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 11–12 August, 1999
* Africa and Middle East Regional Consultation held in Cairo, Egypt 8–9 December, 1999
* East and South East Asia held in February 2000

Objectives of the WCD Consultations

The objectives of the WCD Consultations were:

* To invite a broad range of interested parties in and inform the WCD’s work programme
* To facilitate the public exchange of ideas and views among various constituencies in the region
* To provide the Commissioners with an opportunity to develop a shared understanding of public opinion on dams and their alternatives
* To publish the existence and functioning of the WCD more visibly within each region

The Process of Identifying Submissions to WCD Consultations

The Commission sent calls to a wide range of organizations and networks in each region for submissions for presentation at its Consultations. Each call provided guidelines on possible thematic areas to be covered by submissions and laid down the procedures and deadlines. Criteria were developed for presentation and selection: the representative nature of the submission, the expertise of the presenter, the relevance of the topic and the quality of submissions among others.
Participation of SBC and NAPE in the WCD Process

For example, when a call was made for the Africa and the Middle East Consultation, over ninety submissions from close to thirty countries were received by the WCD Secretariat in Johannesburg, South Africa. From Uganda, NAPE and SBC were the only civil society organizations in the country whose (joint) submission ‘Corporate Crime and the Craze for Huge Hydropower Development Projects in Uganda: the Alternatives’ has been widely cited globally in many publications (e.g.

Globally WCD received 747 submissions from seventy–nine countries of which, of course, the NAPE/SBC submission was one. However, NAPE/SBC participated in the WCD process in yet another way. Mr. Oweyegha–Afunaduula, the Deputy Coordinator of Save Bujagali Crusade and Secretary, NAPE< was on recommendation by NAPE’s Executive Director, Frank Muramuzi, invited by the WCD to participate in its Crosscheck Survey on the development effectiveness of huge dams. He evaluated the Kiambere dam in Kenya, which had been approved for funding and construction in 1979 without an environmental impact assessment (EIA) or proper cost benefit analysis. The Contributions of NAPE and SBC to the WCD process were specifically appreciated by the Commission when it mentioned F.C. Oweyegha–Afunaduula, Martin Musumba and Frank Muramuzi, who undoubtedly had emerged as the unswerving leaders of the anti–Bujagali dam crusade in Uganda and the World.

It is not clear whether other civil society organizations or government institutions in the water and energy sectors in Uganda sought to participate in the consultation. What is clear, however, is that NAPE and SBC had distinguished themselves as the two civic organizations in the country, which saw the campaign against the proposed Bujagali dam as right, legitimate and a struggle for social and environmental justice (Oweyegha–Afunaduula, Musumba and Muramuzi, 1999). They were the only ones from Uganda that participated in the Cairo WCD Consultation.

Although the struggle of NAPE and SBC was, by this time, despised by many who believed there were no alternatives to large dams, and was attracting a lot of wrath from the Uganda Government and pro–dam writers such as Mallaby (2004), with claims that the two were sabotaging the economy and foreign policy, there is no doubt that the two with time ensured that there was a lively debate on dams in general and Bujagali dam in particular, and that there was sense where there would have been nonsense in the area of dams and development. Through the environmental and social leadership of NAPE a number of NGOs formed what was called the ‘Environmental Non–governmental Organisations Liaison Group (ENGLOG) to consolidate environsolidarity, widen environmental action in dams and development, with particular reference to Bujagali dam, and bring the complex issues in this area in Uganda to the wider World. The on–going WCD process reinvigorated the struggle for social and environmental justice in dam affected areas when NAPE and SBC were invited very early to participate in the WCD process.
Findings of the WCD

The work of WCD can be divided into two parts: the assessment of the development effectiveness of dams; and the formulation of recommendations for handling of future water and energy projects.

The WCD made many findings key of which were the following:

* As far as technical, financial and economic performance is concerned many dams have failed to deliver the promised or expected benefits
* Dams designed for irrigation and many multipurpose dams seem to be particularly deficient in this respect
* Delays and costs overruns during the construction are common
* There is often unrecognized need for long term monitoring of dams ensuring that the premises under which they are established remain valid
* The overall impact of large dams has been negative on eco–systems including loss of forests and species in flooded areas, biodiversity loss and the cumulative impacts of several dams in the same river basin measures to mitigate these effects such as fish passes have not always performed as well as intended.

The Main Recommendation of the WCD

The WCD Report "Dams and Development: A new Framework for Decision making" concluded that while dams have indeed contributed to human development and provided considerable benefits, this has been achieved at a high price, especially in terms of the social and cultural disruption of those displaced and the damage to cultural environment of downstream communities.

The report noted that, cumulatively, dams have displaced some 40 to 80 millions people. The livelihoods of many others adversely affected by their construction, have usually been considered or compensated even were there’s compensation, many settled people suffer long term losses that are not taken into account. The benefits of huge dams have not been equitably distributed

To improve the situation for future dam projects the WCD proposed a decision–making framework based on five principles: equity, sustainability, efficiency, participatory decision–making and accountability. It went on to make a number of recommendations related to strategic priorities for decision–making. The main ones include the following:

* The need for clear public acceptance, including the provision of reliable information to enable stakeholders to make informed decisions and participate effectively in decision–making with regard to indigenous people, this should include prior informed consent.
* A comprehensive assessment of all the options ensuring, in particular, that social and environmental aspects are given equal weight alongside technical factors.
* A post project review of existing dams from a technical and social point of view
* The development of the basin wide understanding of the aquatic eco–system and of ways of maintaining it
* The recognition that the benefits of dams should be widely shared
* Checks and balances to ensure that at all stages and procedures comply with agreed standards
* Special attention to transnational impacts

Launching of the WCD Report

The WCD Report was published and released by Earthscan in London in the United Kingdom in 2000. It was launched on 16th November 2000 in a ceremony presided over by former South African President, Nelson Mandela.
Perceptions on the WCD Report

It is often said, at least in environmental circles, that anything new in the environment is a pollutant in all the dimensions of the environment –the ecological–biological the socio–economic, the socio–cultural, and in terms of time. Consequently, the WCD Report, being new in the dams and development area, was bound to impact different sectors of the global economy differently. In other words mixed perceptions and reactions were expected.

Organised civil societies the World over welcomed and supported the Report and its recommendations as new wisdom in the area of dam development. Many NGOs have gone to the extent of asking that the recommendations of the WCD be adopted by national law and binding upon dam builders through the adoption of an international treaty enforced by the United Nations Organisation. However, the majority of governments rejected it outright while others chose silence. The World Bank, ICOLD and ICID, and, more recently HIA, saw the Report as nothing less or more than just a useful document for further discussion rather than adoption and application. The IUCN in behaviour, welcomed it but did not singularly popularise it, preferring to operate within WCD Forum Meetings leading to the formation of the Dams and Development Unit (DDU). However, dam–industry associations in the UK and the Netherlands, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Environmental programme (UNEP), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and credit agencies in the USA, France and Norway, as well as bilateral Donors such as DFID and BMZ welcomed the Report.

In many countries the public was kept ignorant about the intents and wisdom of WCD Report. In fact, the dam–building industry and hydropower lobby perceived it as interference with legitimate business. The International Hydropower Association (IHA), whose membership includes governments, hydropower producers, credit institutions, et cetera, appears to have been formed purposely to undermine WCD. This is strengthened HIA’s decision to develop its own guidelines called "International Hydropower Association Sustainability Guidelines", which it launched in February, 2004.

Locally, NAPE and SBC, in particular, and many global environmental NGOs, believe that the IHA’s alternative guidelines are an antithesis of the WCD guidelines. As McCully (2004) states, a lobby group for a particular technology (i.e. large dam) cannot be expected to propose an unbiased methodology or guidelines for its choice

McCully (2004) has observed that IHA has since its creation frequently argued that hydro is superior to other options because dams can have multiple benefits such as providing water for drinking and irrigation, flood protection, water–based transport, recreation, fisheries. Yet experience has shown that these multiple uses are often conflicting, their scale regularly exaggerated by dam proponents, and where needed often can be provided more effectively and efficiently through other methods. For floods, hydropower has, in fact, on balance, made the problem worse, and yet increased flood damage risk is rarely, if ever, accounted for in hydro–feasibility studies.

Not only this. In its criteria for judging energy options, the IHA ignores other important criteria with which hydro often compares very poorly, such as cultural heritage losses, the spread of waterborne diseases, deltaic and coastline erosions, submergence of human settlements and financial viability ( e.g., McCully, 2004). HIA’s complementary document called "Guidance Notes on Compliance with IHA Sustainability Guidelines" is even more misleading and dangerous than the Sustainability Guidelines because it does not say anything about compliance which it claims to address. Instead it emerges as what McCully (2004) has called "a set of scorecards" for developers to use to come up with numerical rankings for their projects. The scorecards are even more slanted towards hydro than the Sustainability Guidelines and largely useless for decision–making in the area of dams and development. They even fail miserably to show any weighting for different issues (McCully, 2004).
WCD Guidelines for Sanity and Alternatives

As for the SBC, NAPE and many other global environmental NGOs, the WCD guidelines are an important innovation that would be a crucial weapon in bringing sanity in environment and development in Uganda. Their perception is that HIA’s Sustainability Guidelines or any other narrowly conceived guidelines that may be innovated in the dams and development area beyond HIA’s Guidelines, cannot in any way have the credibility of, or supersede, the comprehensive recommendations developed by a Commission represented by all sides in the great dams’ debate. Guided by this perception of the WCD process, NAPE has, since 2002, been publishing a Magazine called NAPE LOBBY to popularise the wisdom of WCD report locally, nationally and globally. It has also taken a cue from WCD’s counsel on alternative energy resources to initiate a geothermal development programme. Following a Geothermal Workshop it organised in Kampala in April 2003, NAPE is in the process of developing an Investors’ Guide on Geothermal Development in Uganda. NAPE also plans to develop alternative guidelines for solar, wind, biogas and even fuel wood.
Beyond WCD Recommendations

It is, however, important to note that as soon as the WCD Report was launched two key questions became critical: (i) what was to be the fate of the WCD Knowledge Base?; and (ii) What institutional arrangement were necessary to continue from where the WCD ended? These questions precipitated what were referred to as ‘WCD Forum Meetings’. They were effectively addressed in the 25–27 February 2001 Third WCD Forum Meeting in Spier Village near Cape Town, South Africa, whose goal was to review the WCD Report and agree on a follow up. The result was that a Forum Liaison Group (FLG) was formed and mandated to take the lead in establishing new arrangements fro dissemination and implementation of the WCD Report.

The FLG, which was composed of representatives from Harea Engineering, International Rivers, IUCN, Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Namada Bachao Andolan and the World Bank, and assisted by the WCD Secretariat, carried out the task of advancing discussions towards reaching agreements by March 2001 that would provide for (i) a dams and development forum (DDF); a dams and governance Group; and (iii) a dams and development unit (DDU). The latter is located at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi.
Making WCD Guidelines Work in Uganda

Not many NGOs in Uganda have been aware of the existence of the WCD Report, but NAPE and SBC, which enjoy an umbilical relationship in all their environmental actions, have because, as pointed out earlier, they were part and parcel of the WCD process in terms of resource persons and participants in the WCD Crosscheck Survey. Accordingly they have for long been committed to making the WCD guidelines work in Uganda. NAPE in particular formed an extensive network with dam–affected people, the Uganda Government and a number of organizations in Uganda and international environmental NGOs to see that development planning and policy–making benefit from the wisdom in the WCD Guidelines. NAPE has also published a brochure in three languages –English, Lusoga and Luganda –summarising the key findings and recommendations of the WCD Report, which it intends to circulate widely among the dam affected communities, policy makers, development planners and a wide cross–section of the Ugandan citizenry. As pointed out above, it has also been preoccupied with geothermal energy development. The 19th October 2004 International Workshop at Hotel Africana, Kampala, on launching the WCD Report, represents NAPE’s recent effort to popularise the WCD Guidelines in Uganda, especially among NGOs, policy–makers and investors.

To the knowledge of NAPE and SBC, the WCD Report has to date been launched in Africa in only South Africa, where WCD was headquartered and whose former President, Nelson Mandela, performed its launching in London.. NAPE’s decision to launch the Report in Uganda is of great importance because (i) the Report would be launched for the first time in the Great Lakes region; and (ii) Uganda is the seat of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), which is committed to construction of huge dams. and its Government has been advised by international consultants paid by the World Bank and has unreservedly accepted to develop the cascade of large dam within its borders, with Bujagali dam coming first online. The launch was expected to serve as a strong message that (i) civil society active in the conflict prone arena of dams and development endorse the WCD wisdom in the Report and would seek it and popularise it in development;(ii) this wisdom was now at the doorsteps of Government and the NBI; and (iii) if the wisdom and reasoning of the WCD were deliberately ignored, the consequences that could have been avoided would definitely be waiting to happen as man–made disasters in the energy sector.

Already ignoring the WCD process and proceedings since 1998 in the Kiira dam process is beginning to have grave consequences at Owen Falls Dam. (Karugaba, 2004). Excluding Bujagali Dam from a regional comprehensive assessment of social and environmental impacts of energy projects and then proceeding with constructing Bujagali Dam and the cascade of other dams along the Nile could spell danger. For example, if the cracking Owen Falls Dam collapsed and the rushing waters from the Lake Victoria reservoir carried giant, medium–sized and other blocks of concrete downstream of the almost straight stretch of the Nile, an erected Bujagali dam would be crashed out of operation, and the combined concrete of Bujagali and Owen Falls Dam would pile up in Lake Kyoga, causing its water level to rise and flood large sections of adjacent human settlements and ecosystems (Hillary Onek, Pers. Comm., Onek, 2004). It could be said that the belated intervention of the World Bank in the Bujagali project and overall energy processes in Uganda (Mutumba, 2004) is an admission of failure or collapse of the country’s energy sector, which could be helped out by a rethinking taking a cue from the WCD recommendations.
The Way Forward

For future wisdom and progress in development, it is important for all actors in the water and energy sectors to accept that like the Media, NGOs can influence decision–making and policies, and the projects of governments, corporations and international financial institutions as the Bujagali debacle has demonstrated in the last seven or so years. Like journalists, NGO Campaigners are not democratically elected, and just like is the case with the Media, the influence and reputation of the NGOs depends more on the quality of their work than on the numbers of their members or subscribers. It should also not be forgotten that democracy and its outcomes may be manipulated. The truth is that NGOs raise issues that would otherwise be swept under the carpet with serious consequences in environment and development. This role cannot and should not be missed if development is to be effective and meaningful to those for whom it is claimed to be pursued.

The effectiveness of development strategies will be promoted by developing a listening culture rather than resentment towards the alternative, non–orthodox views of NGOs in environment and development and the wisdom of the WCD recommendations.

As the debate over Bujagali becomes more and more complex, it is important for all to accept that it was really not NAPE, SBC or the international environmental NGOs that were responsible for the woes in the dam process or held Uganda’s ‘national interest’ hostage. The cause was multipronged and included the circle of government–corporate secrecy, the excessive, unexplained high cost of the dam, corruption, political arm–twisting, and down–playing of the spiritual and cultural value of Bujagali site by the proponents of the dam.

NAPE and SBC may not have been democratically elected or may have fewer members than those of a given political party in Uganda, but they are citizen organizations with the interests of the country at the core of their work. Size of membership is irrelevant to their role in development or policy making. They will continue to play their role well to enhance or question the development effectiveness of the current or planned dams in Uganda. Their work is and will continue to be guided by the wisdom of the WCD.

It is the view of the still critically small civil society active in raising, clarifying and articulating issues in the dams and development area, and which is powerfully represented mainly by NAPE and SBC, that (i) the Uganda Government should publicly embrace the WCD guidelines and work with civil society to implement the guidelines; (ii) the Uganda Government should view the hurriedly hatched IHA Sustainability Guidelines with caution; (iii) the Uganda Government should avoid erecting laws that would make it difficult to use the wisdom of the WCD Guidelines in order to introduce sanity in the energy sector; (iv) the Uganda Government forthwith begins to perceive civil society active in the dams and development area as ‘a barometer of and partner in development working to enhance the development effectiveness of existing and planned large dams as well as open its eyes to the real value of developing alternative energy resources for posterity’.

Investors too can benefit greatly from the wisdom of the WCD guidelines. World wide, about US $30–45 billion is invested annually in constructing dams. Over the past decade US$25–30 billion is invested annually in constructing dams in the poor countries. Typically US$ 15 billions went to hydro power dams, US$ 10 billion to irrigation and several billions to water supply. The largest share of investment went into large dams of which there are now 45,000 worldwide (WWF, 2003).

The WCD’s new framework for decision making offers wisdom on the way forward for investment in the energy sector, and the WWF (2003) gives the financial pitfalls to avoid when investing in dams from now on, including: exaggerated projections of benefits; time and cost overruns; inaccurate assessments of displaced peoples and inundated lands; geological instability and dam failure; displaced business spin–off; sovereign risk and corruption; maintenance and decommissioning costs recovery and dam beneficiaries; and inadequate insurance cover.

It is absolutely important that the current dialogue and consensus building up in the arena of dams and development on the one hand, and dams and the environment on the other, will not only be maintained but enhanced further based on the principles of equity, efficiency, participatory decision–making, sustainability and accountability as well as respect for the interests of all stakeholders –small or big, civic or corporate, government or non–government, and on the recognition that there are always alternatives. Attempts to dismiss some NGOs as saboteurs of the economy or threats to foreign policy are, therefore, negative (e.g., Mallaby, 2004). Indeed it is in this spirit that the WCD process was conceived, maintained and its outcomes recommended to the peoples of the world and actors in the dams and development arena in particular.

The 19th October 2004 International Workshop on "Making WCDGuidelinesWork in Uganda" should be seen as both an educational process and an initiation of a process of application of the WCD Guidelines to decision–making in dams and development in the country. The range of participants in the workshop, including representatives from the government of Uganda, should be seen as an indication that many recognize or want to acquaint themselves with the WCD outcomes and the enormous issues, problems and challenges bogging the arena of dams and development. Intense and wise discussion of how to avoid loopholes and conflicts in our craze for development should now be possible.

The challenge of the impossibility of operating Kiira and Nalubaale concurrently should provides an opportunity in crisis for such discussion, of course using the WCD Guidelines. However, the revisionist guidelines "Sustainability Guidelines" innovated by the International IHA, and which are an antithesis of the WCD Guidelines, are likely to occlude such discussions if adopted by Government because (i) they are no more than an attempt to dissuade global governments and international funders from enforcing the much tougher sustainability standards proposed by the WCD; and (ii) they are useless for decision–making and only serve as a public relations instrument for proponents of otherwise undesirable projects.

The issue of corruption (e.g., Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 1999, 2000) is critical and should be boldly addressed because it is quite gravely undermining the development effectiveness of large dams in Uganda. There has been a suggestion that privatisation [of the energy sector] is more of official theft than a development vehicle as those in charge tend to use it to defraud citizens in order to enrich themselves. It has also been suggested that as corporate investment in large dam projects declines, the ultimate investor might turn out to be corruption (e.g. Babirye and Oweyegha–Afunaduula, 2004). There is now a deeply pervading fear among civil society that the transfer of workers’ money hitherto under the jurisdiction of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to the Ministry of Finance could see this money diverted into funding ill–conceived dam projects. The Ministry has been involved in many corruption scandals, and could be a prelude to Government illegally diverting the money to construction of large dams, principally Bujagali dam (Waiswa, 2004). Given past behaviour of Government in the arena of energy, many dubious firms, and even a consortium of them, could be formed to take advantage the huge financial resources of NSSF now in the Ministry of finance to defraud the increasingly poor Ugandan workers. However, with the recent decision of the Parliamentary Finance Committee to investigate the privatisation of the energy sector (e.g., Nandutu, 2004), this might hopefully not happen.

Finally, it is the contention of this paper that the WCD recommendations are and can indeed be used as a new framework for decision–making towards mitigating the mushrooming policy deadlocks, controversies and privatisation failures (e.g. The Sunrise, September 3rd–10th 2004, p.4) in the water and energy sectors. This is important because, as Asmal (1999) said, we can expect competition for water to increase in coming decades due to continued population growth, increasing urbanisation, and the difficulty of apportioning water between various interests –local communities, industries and the environment. The latter will be particularly challenging because, as the Washington Centre for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (see NAPE LOBBY Feb 2003 3rd Edition Vol,2 No.1) showed, the privatisation of public water systems (mainly for hydropower dams), and driven by a handful of European corporations and the World Bank, is on the increase with rising threat of corruption in the water and energy sectors (e.g. Babirye and Oweyegha–Afuanduula; Oweyegha–Afuanduula, 2004) as the water barons continue succeeding unabatedly to popularize the privatisation ideology (despite its current problems) and to cause unsuspecting politicians to erect anti–people, anti–development, pro–privatisation, corruption–generating legislation blueprints and trade/business laws.

As Sen (2000) says, development is ultimately freedom. In order to contribute to this freedom, NAPE will continue, guided by the spirit of the WCD Guidelines, to carry out its identified tasks, some of which are enunciated in NAPE LOBBY of August 2004 10th Edition Vol. 3 No.4 (Tayebwa, 2004), namely:

* Exposing corporate–government circle of secrecy in the water and energy sectors
* Educating, through meetings, all stakeholders, including Government, on the value and virtue of involving all stakeholders in decision–making in the water and energy sectors
* Constant dialogue with government on dams and development issues
* Constant dialogue with the World Bank locally and globally to raise dam issues, including dam–affected people, resettlement, promises, compensation, need for new EIAs and Cost–Benefit Analyses, et cetera
* Exposure of loopholes and shortcomings in proposed and ongoing dam projects
* Innovating Guidelines for development of alternative energy sources
* Environmental litigation to ensure that the courts become more sensitive to violations of human rights and social and environmental justice in dams and development
* Continuing with disseminating the outcomes of WCD and working to implement them
* Publishing NAPE LOBBY and other materials to raise awareness of dam issues and galvanise environmental action
* Lobbying for explicit inclusion of dams and development issues in the school and university curricula

In the view of NAPE these are undertakings that a national task committee on WCD recommendations, if set up, could be interested in and perhaps choose to adopt or modify for use in its own work.


"Owen Falls Dam in Uganda technically has a greater reservoir capacity [than any other Dam in the World] but the dam did not create a totally new body of water, instead increasing the volume of a natural lake (Lake Victoria) by two Metres."


"...the $350 cost of the Bujagali dam is inflated because no new environmental impact assessment, which would have been accompanied by a new cost–benefit analysis, had been carried out."

Frank Muramuzi
October 2004
The New Vision (Uganda)

"It does not make sense to use an old environmental impact assessment done a decade ago and bogged by many loopholes to justify the Bujagali dam process to continue beyond AES."

Frank Muramuzi
October 9 2004
The New Vision (Uganda)

"It has always been the stand of NAPE that it is impossible to operate Owen falls Dam and Owen Falls Extension Dam simultaneously. It has become clear that the two dams can’t operate at the same time."

Frank Muramuzi
October 14 2004
The Red Pepper (Uganda)

The power produced from Nalubaale and Kiira power stations had dropped from 180 megawatts to 160 because the two dams are overcrowding the river...The terminals of one power station should be shut. Only one dam should be used. The terminals of the two dams are overdrawing water from the lake [Lake Victoria] causing the water level to drop drastically."

Engineer Hilary Onek
October 9 2004
The New Vision (Uganda)

"Some people are implying that building Bujagali dam will solve all our energy problems. All we need is Government’s reexamination of the energy sector. We should not fear to look boldly into the future and sort out losses caused by misleading consultancies, corruption and narrow policies which do not take in alternatives."

October 92004
The New Vision (Uganda)

"Importation of power [from Kenya] was being considered to fill the gap left by increasing domestic demand, which was overwhelmed by a combination of factors including drought conditions that reduced water levels, affecting productivity at the Kiira and Nalubaale power stations in Jinja."

Syda Bbumba
October 8 2004
The Monitor (Uganda)

"Designs of dams are not based on seasons. The hydrology of the River Nile has been studied from 1899 to date and a severe drought of over six months can only cause half a metre drop in the Lake’s water level. The level has dropped because the reservoir has been tampered with by the two dams [Kiira and Nalubaale]."

Engineer Hilary Onek
October 9 2004
The Monitor (Uganda)

"Some of us have a feeling that the way the energy sector was privatized was not proper. Why should they hike the tariffs before selling it off? The Government is responsible."

Bright Rwamirama, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Finance
October 14th 2004
The Monitor (Uganda)

"...The World Bank and Acres, the company that designed the [Owen Falls] extension should compensate Uganda for the ineffectiveness of the extension."

Engineer Hilary Onek
October 14 2004
The Red Pepper (Uganda)

"The Uganda Government is obsessed with the Bujagali project and not dealing with the unanswered questions about the dam."

Frank Muramuzi
October 14–20 2004
The Weekly Observer (Uganda)

"NAPE had learnt that there is a hydropower law being drafted [with the help of a consultant from South Africa] that will ensure that whoever tampers with government projects in the energy sector will have committed treason. Those behind the proposed law are attempting to shut civil society out of the Bujagali dam development."

Frank Muramuzi
October 14–20 2004
The Weekly Observer (Uganda)

"If Bujagali hydropower must to be developed, the project must also look into strengthening the structures of the old dam for another long period of service.

Engineer Hilary Onek
October 15–22 2004
The Sunrise (Uganda)

"We are aware of the change of attitude of government and the World Bank towards energy alternatives and small dams for hydropower. This is the way to go as we have always said. However, we are still concerned there are still excessive commitments to construction of huge dams"

Frank Muramuzi
October 15–22
The Sunrise (Uganda)

"Bujagali is an important cultural and spiritual site for the Basoga people, with more than 100 clans and thought by many to be one of the most ancient Communities in the region....These people have been united spiritually by the religious site at Bujagali.."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C.
March 2003

"They are telling us that you can command spirits to move to another site. If that happens it will no longer be a shrine. It is nonsense to say that you can move a shrine. Spirits command men, not the other way round."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C.
March 2003

"It has not been an easy fight because we are fighting international capital, which has a strange relationship with political powers that be. And they were protecting each other."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C.
March 2003

"Although Uganda was being projected by the World Bank as the ‘angelic icon’ of private investment in Africa at present, the country also displays the highest rates of corruption in all dimensions of the environment. Political corruption at the highest level is dynamically interacting with business corruption to the extent that any decision process regarding investment will most likely be a product of institutional corruption...A recent report of the World Bank concluded that the way to control corruption in public procurement is to ensure that classical principles of open competitive procurement are applied. Bujagali dam project was a politically excluded from such process..."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C., Martin Musumba and Frank Muramuzi

"At last it is becoming clear how the nation was misled over Bujagali and Kiira. Deliberate false assumptions were sold to us as facts, but the truth is now coming out ...Some environmentalists even then said that Kiira was a misdesign and they were blamed as working against national interest."

Fred Mukasa
October 18 2004
The Monitor (Uganda)

"The real issue in not electricity but poverty. Currently the majority of Ugandans have no money for electricity for they [live] under the poverty line. Even those who have money to pay are increasingly finding it difficult to pay for the overpriced electricity. Focus, therefore, should be on poverty reduction; not damming for hydropower...industrial growth responds to market forces rather than energy. The market for hydropower is critically small and dwindling because poverty is on the increase.. We think that Bujagali Dam Project will cause the 2.4 million Basoga [ a local people primarily farmers; pronounced bah–SOH–gah] whose clans are spiritually and culturally integrated in the Bujagali Falls, to suffer ‘spiritual death’. In their deculturised (sic) form, the Basoga are likely also to suffer ‘spiritual death. It is important to imagine how these changes may affect socio–economic development"

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C., Martin Musumba and Frank Muramuzi

"Huge dams have never brought and will never bring forth the promised benefits and solutions to human problems. If anything, the solutions they provide so often turn out to be new problems. This is the dilemma of the development choice of huge dams! It is deception suggesting that their failure in the past will not obtain in Uganda today. This propagandist approach to development is dangerous. It must be rejected."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C., Martin Musumba and Frank Muramuzi

"In fact at that time our efforts to warn the affected communities that they were getting a raw deal from AES fell on deaf ears. We were ostracized by government, by AES and the people we were defending against what we knew was a fraudulent deal."

Frank Muramuzi
October 17 2004
Sunday Monitor

"The population used to chase us, saying we were stopping them from ‘eating big’. Today they are running to us crying foul play...Three years later, all the community has is a two–bedroom house per family patched on an insufficient one–acre piece of land without any social amenities."

Oweyegha–Afunaduula, F.C.
October 17 2004
Sunday Monitor


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