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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Large dams don’t benefit local people - IIED

Findings from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) revealed that many dam programmes in West Africa that have been resettled and or compensated people have been problematic.

The published research report made available to NaijaAgroNet, highlighted how future dam in the region could share benefit with local people including river users and communities who have been displaced as major dams had been criticized by NGOs over disasters it spell on communities which usually lead to people's displacement.

The report noted that benefits of dam should be shared over decades and not just a few years. The challenge according to the report is to ensure that displaced people are beneficiaries through the lifetime of the dam, as much as 50 to 80 years and not just less than 10 years when the project's main financial backers are still engaged.

Jamie Skinner stated in the report, that large dams have a bad name as a result of the too many serious environmental and social impacts the dams do bring along.

Skinner acknowledged that the main beneficiaries of dams are urban citizens and industries gain from the improved infrastructure over decades.

The impact of large dams as noted by Skinner would not stop large dams.

"... Large dams are here to stay and more are being planned..." He said countries are beginning to choose them as an adaptive measure for food security, rising energy prices and climate change.

For these reasons, Skimmer reaffirmed that building good dams is an essentiality where benefits are widely shared and there are minimum harmful impacts.

"Countries will need dams to manage these unpredictable flows, and to provide irrigation and hydro-electric power to address food and fuel insecurity," Skinner said.

Yinka Awosanya
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

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