Dam Threatens The Nile River

The Isimba Dam Hydro Power Project could hurt Ugandans and whitewater

Dam Threatens the Nile River

Raft flipping in the Bujagali falls, Jinja District, Uganda. Photo: BanyanTree

News around the world has been covering the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam threatening to choke the Nile River in April 2017. Egypt has been fighting hard against Ethopia, and international tensions are rising. Yet no one seems to have noticed another big dam threat on the south section of the Nile: Isimba Dam Hydro Power Project.

Perhaps the silence is because no international conflict threatens this project or that so few defenders exist for the Ugandan section or even that those defenders ask for a compromise instead of an end to the dam. Whatever the reason the lack of news does not negate the problems the Ugandans face as the Isimba Dam threatens the Nile River.

Three levels have been proposed for the height of Isimba Dam, which is expected to be completed in 2018. The highest level of the dam, and its associated reservoir will displace more than 2,000 Ugandans, who are predominantly subsistence farmers and flood a world-famous section of whitewater. The whitewater attracts people from around the world, creating a tourism industry that has supported thousands of Ugandans through well-paid jobs.

Those opposing the third proposal of the Isimba Dam are asking for a compromise. They agree to the lowest version of the Isimba Dam, which would still generate enough electrical power to supplement Uganda’s requirements and barely affect on the whitewater section of the Nile.

The defenders of the Ugandan section of the Nile have created a petition to send to the Ugandan Government. Click here for more information or to sign the petition.


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  • West Hansen

    Countries and cultures with air conditioning, full stomachs and reliable utilities don’t really have a standing to tell developing countries how they should attain the same things we take for granted. In a perfect world, no river would be dammed (damned). Unless they are offered a viable, affordable and equally powerful alternative to damming rivers for electrical power, then we really don’t have any moral standing to tell them what they can or can’t do. Similar to parenting, you can’t merely tell a kid what NOT to do. You have to offer them a real alternative. –West Hansen

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