August 27, 2007 at 8:56 pm #4701simonParticipant
This might be a repost … its pretty sad to see this happeningAugust 28, 2007 at 12:56 am #30007ButterParticipant
I am still hoping to get there in the next couple of years before that whitewater is lost.August 28, 2007 at 2:26 pm #30008tartopommeParticipant
"What is in the greater national interest?" Economic growth of course … what is amazing with the development discourse is you can say pretty much anything in the name of poverty alleviation… Unfortunatly, the only people who seems to care are those complaining about the whitewater they’ll be missing on.August 28, 2007 at 6:57 pm #30009TimHParticipant
I would be the first to agree with tartopomme that poverty alleviation is a far higher priority than the recreational pursuits of a small group of people, all of whom are in the top 1% globally in terms of wealth (and yes, that includes all the students and paddle bums on this forum).
That said, the World Bank has a horrendous track record on major dam developments. I had actually thought they had a policy of not doing dams any more because they had run into so much trouble with them in the past. The Naramada dam project in India was a particularly bad one, financed by the Bank, which would have displaced about a million people and destroyed many livlihoods. It was finally shut down by international pressure and by domestic pressure from the people who lived in the communities nearby.
Problems with the proposed dam in Uganda are
1 – damage to fisheries
2 – submerging highly productive agricultural land
Those are far more likely to have a detrimental economic impact on local people than the dam will likely have a positive impact. Large scale resource development has a tendency to enrich a small group of already wealthy people (oil development in Africa is the classic case of this). Other than a few jobs, the dam will probably give very little benefit to local people. Most of those jobs will probably go to technically-trained people from Kampala (the capital) anyways. And the locals will have taken a big hit because of damage to their farmlands and their fishery. In addition, there is the cultural damage caused by cutting off a major local waterfall, and the damage to local tourism (tourism has a better track-record for spreading economic gain to local people than does resource extraction).
And providing better access to electicity? 95% of Ugandans are not on a power grid. Producing more energy will do nothing to address that.
Since you were using the Bank itself as your news source (which I would say if a very biased source), I suggest checking out this as well to provide an alternate view point. http://www.irn.org/programs/bujagali/
To sum up a long ramble… is poverty alleviation more important than the recreation of a few fortunate boaters? Yes. Are large-scale hydropower developments a good way of going about poverty alleviation? Often not.
That’s my two cents.August 28, 2007 at 6:59 pm #30010TimHParticipant
re-reading your message I wonder if I was maybe mis-interpreting where you were coming from. If so, sorry ” title=”Smile” />.
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