Press Release

ADB “Water For The Poor” Week Reveals Hypocrisy of Institution

Friday, January 30, 2004
Plans for Mekong Power Grid Would Undermine People’s Rights to Water As the Asian Development Bank’s “Water Week 2004” winds to a close in Manila, communities are at risk of losing their livelihoods and natural resources to the ADB-supported Mekong power grid. The ADB is leading the development of a Mekong region power grid fueled primarily by hydropower. Twelve hydropower projects are proposed to connect to the grid, including the controversial Nam Theun 2 Dam in Laos, two dams on the Upper Mekong in China and Tasang Dam in Burma. The Bank claims that the Mekong power

Mekong Leaders to Sign Risky Power Trade Agreement

Friday, July 1, 2005
Leaders of Mekong countries are planning to sign a key Memorandum of Understanding at the Second Greater Mekong Sub–region1 (GMS) Summit in Kunming, China on July 4–5, 2005. The MOU helps to establish an implementation framework that facilitates the development of a power grid and trading system which poses a serious threat to the economies, environment and local communities. A recent analysis shows that the multi–billion dollar scheme provides no guarantee of cost savings for consumers. A flagship initiative of the Asian Development Bank’s GMS program, the Mekong power

Independent Experts Find Fatal Flaws in Amazon Dam Studies

Monday, November 13, 2006
A group of independent experts -- including internationally-renowned authorities on the Amazon -- have found serious errors and omissions in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Brazil’s massive Madeira River hydroelectric project. The experts found the EIA to be inadequate, and recommend that additional studies be undertaken to evaluate the project’s impacts. The independent studies were commissioned by the Rondônia Public Attorney’s office, and financed by the consortium seeking to build the dams. Brazil’s environmental protection agency, IBAMA, is currently holding public

19% of India's Global Warming Emissions From Large Dams

Friday, May 18, 2007
Latest scientific estimates show that large dams in India are responsible for about a fifth of the countries' total global warming impact. The estimates also reveal that Indian dams are the largest global warming contributors compared to all other nations. This estimate by Ivan Lima and colleagues from Brazil's National Insitute for Space Research was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal. "It is unfortunate that Lima's study has come too late to be included in the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)," says Patrick McCully,

New World Bank Strategy Proposes $550m for Dams in India

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The World Bank Board of Directors will decide on a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for India on Thursday, August 26. In this strategy, the World Bank proposes to double loans to India, and to spend $550 million on new dams in 2005–08. Indian and international civil society groups reject the proposed strategy. Ann Kathrin Schneider of International Rivers just returned from a visit to potential dam sites in India. Schneider warns: "The World Bank has not learned lessons from its past mistakes in building dams. The Bank is currently considering dams in the Himalayas that would destroy va

Companies Charged with Corruption on Lesotho Dams

Wednesday, December 1, 1999
Ten companies and two consortia were summoned to appear in the Maseru Magistrates’ Court in Lesotho on November 29 on charges of bribing Masupha Sole, former director of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). Sole is accused of accepting around US$2 million in bribes from the companies, which included major dam–building firms from Europe, Canada and South Africa. The accused companies worked on the Katse Dam, the first of five huge dams planned for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Katse is now completed and work has started on a second dam, Mohale. The World Bank ha

Companies Charged with Corruption Should Be Suspended From World Bank Contracts

Friday, November 26, 1999
Dam–building companies charged with corruption in a Lesotho court should be suspended from receiving World Bank contracts while they are under investigation, says International Rivers Network. International Rivers is also calling on the World Bank to establish an independent investigation of its role in the scandal. Ten companies and two consortia have been summoned to appear in the Maseru Magistrates’ Court in Lesotho on November 29 on charges of bribing Mr. Masupha Sole, former director of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). Mr. Sole is accused of accepting around

Bribery Taints World Bank–Funded Lesotho Water Project

Sunday, August 1, 1999
A dozen major international dam–building companies involved in the World Bank–funded Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) have lavishly bribed at least one top official on the project, allegedly giving nearly US$2 million in bribes over ten years, reports the South African newspaper Business Day. The information was revealed as part of a court case for the bribed official. Patrick McCully, Campaigns Director of International Rivers Network, says: "Bribery has long distorted the decision–making process on large dams. The international dam industry should be held accou

Corrupt Lahmeyer Debarment Welcome but Late -- NGOs

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Environmental campaigners welcomed yesterday’s decision by the World Bank to debar German-based Lahmeyer International for bribing officials to win contracts for Africa’s largest inter-basin water transfer scheme, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Korinna Horta of Environmental Defense said: "We welcome the World Bank’s decision to suspend Lahmeyer International from doing business with the Bank for a period of seven years. This decision represents an important departure from just talking about corruption to taking serious action. It sends an important signal to international c

Communities Affected by World Bank’s Largest Dam Project in Africa Protest its Impoverishing Effects

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
As the world’s financial leaders gather in Washington for the annual meetings of the World Bank (Sept. 24–25), help for Africa will be high on the agenda. But the Bank’s biggest dam project in Africa, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP)1 – sold as a way of pulling Lesotho out of poverty while supplying water to South Africa – is, according to the Bank itself, failing those who sacrificed everything for the project. Poverty is increasing in communities directly affected by the scheme’s dams, and project–affected people are resorting to marching in the streets of Lesotho’s


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