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Industry News

Ugandan Dam Project Breaches World Bank Policies

LCG, June 11, 2002--The Bujagali Hydro Project does not comply with World Bank policies, according to an Independent Inspection Panel.

The Dam, a project of AES Nile, would provide 230 MW capacity to Uganda and would reportedly cost $550 million to build.

The Independent Inspection Panel said the project violates World Bank policies because information provided to the bank did not explore environmental impacts or whether or not the project was economically plausible for the debt-ridden country. Also, information given to the World Bank about the project neglected the resettlement of local people and the effects on tourism from the half-mile long dam.

Although the construction would not be paid for by the Ugandan government, possible electricity contracts between AES Nile and the Ugandan government have not been released for public debate.

The World Bank, which was considering giving the project a $250 million political risk guarantee, postponed decisions for as much as six weeks while the report is being discussed.

Ugandan government officials have been complaining of an eight-year delay in the project, which would bring power to the electricity-starved region. Only 3 percent of Ugandans have access to electricity, which is lower than many African countries with otherwise similar economies.

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