Ugandans condemn Bank on dam and environment

15 April 2000

In late February two Ugandan organisations sent a strong memo to the World Bank about the proposed Bujagali Dam Project. The Save Bujagali Crusade (SBC) and the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), leading environmental advocacy groups, sent a memo complaining that Bujagali Dam Project was politically excluded from the recommendations in a recent World Bank report which demanded open competitive procurement to control corruption.

They said that International Finance Corporation’s recent clearances to appraise the Bujagali Falls Dam Project overrode concerns about the project being “pregnant with politico-corporate crime”.

The World Bank is using the Bujagali Project to motivate reform in the energy sector in Uganda in order to improve financial viability; not its environmental, ecological, social or cultural viability.

The document also questions potential conflict of interest between IFC‘s “for profit” mission on Bujagali and the Bank’s broader energy sector restructuring process.

They comment further that

“environmental groups are concluding that the Environmental Division of the World Bank may have been the Bank’s way of expressing environmental symbolism to hoodwink the victims of environmentally bankrupt projects”.

They oppose the continuing sectoral approaches to development in Uganda, which ignore the interconnectedness and dynamism of the environment and its components, stressing only growth in the flow of goods and services.

Contact: P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

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