World Bank’s New President Should Address its Dam Past, Change its Future Path

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
As World Bank President Robert Zoellick prepares for his first meeting with the Bank’s shareholders this weekend, an International Rivers' report reveals that the Bank approved more than US$ 800 million for nine hydropower projects in fiscal year 2007. This is more than it provided for renewable energy and efficiency projects combined. As the Bank jumps back into the big dam business and neglects better energy and water solutions, the legacy of its past dam projects tragically lives on.This Bank-funded dam legacy includes the displacement of at least 10 million people, lost livelihoods, dama

Shattered Lives and Broken Promises

Monday, October 15, 2007
The Unresolved Legacy of the World Bank's National Drainage Program in Pakistan - an Eyewitness Account The World Bank's Inspection Panel (IP) issued its investigation report for the Bank-funded Pakistan National Drainage Program in 2006. The IP report found that Bank management had violated six of the Bank's safeguard policies in the NDP project, contributing to the loss of lives and livelihoods in Pakistan's southern Sindh province. In response to the findings of the IP investigation, Bank management outlined measures they would take to address the policy violations and prob

World Bank Should Address Legacy in Inga Rehab

Thursday, May 24, 2007
RE: Concerns of proposed Regional and Domestic Power Markets Development Project (ID P097201)Read a letter to the World Bank from Congolese NGOs To the World Bank Board of Directors: We commend the Bank’s interest and commitment to refurbish existing energy infrastructure at the Inga site in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, the legacy of the Inga dams and the interest in further hydropower development of the Inga site raise several issues which create a more complex context for the Bank’s proposed Regional and Domestic Power Markets Development Project (RDPMDP).1 The followin

Legacy of Dams on the Zambezi: Group Works to Right Wrongs at Kariba Dam

The Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River is one of Africa’s largest dams, and one with a particularly sorry legacy for those forced to make way for it. Just miles from the huge reservoir in the Zambezi Valley live several tribes who are among the poorest, most remote and least developed in the country. Their predicament is largely attributed to their forced removal from their riverside communities in the late 1950s for the construction of Kariba. For almost 50 years, they have lived in isolation and with few significant development initiatives. At least 57,000 Tonga people living along both side

Grand Inga - A Dam for Prestige, Not Poverty Reduction in Dem. Republic of Congo

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Cameroon -- "Access to affordable and clean electricity for the millions of Africans who today have none" is a fitting goal for the World Energy Council (WEC)’s energy planning in Africa.1 But their answer, the $50 billion USD Grand Inga hydropower scheme, is not the panacea project that the WEC would like it to be. The WEC is preparing to convene an International Forum on the Grand Inga Project "How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa" which will take place in Gaborone, Botswana, 16-17 March 2007. "Grand Inga is not meant to benefit Africa’s poor," said Terri Hatha

The Legacy of Lao Dams for Thai Power

Friday, December 22, 2006
Opinion piece published in Bangkok's The Nation This week, Thailand's new energy minister, Dr Piyasvasti Amranand signed an agreement to buy up to 5,000 megawatts (MW) of hydropower from Laos by 2015 - 2,000 MW more than envisioned by his predecessor. Dr Piyasvasti claims its eastern neighbour will provide Thailand with a reliable supply of electricity. But that strategy is extremely expensive, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of Lao villagers who will be forced to bear the cost. For Lao farmers and fishers, dams are not power generators but threats to their rivers and liveli

The Legacy of Hydro in Laos

Sunday, February 29, 2004
Hydropower projects developed over the past decade in Laos have left a legacy of destroyed livelihoods and damaged ecosystems. The five case studies in this paper point to the great difficulties in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects in Laos. These experiences raise fundamental questions regarding the Lao government's institutional capacity and political will to ensure that infrastructure projects are adequately monitored, that compensation is fairly and fully distributed and that environmental issues are properly addressed.


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