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[17 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

Nepal’s hydropower boom needs strategic assessment and public oversight

Children crossing a bridge across Budhi Gandaki River in Arughat, Nepal (Photo by Eugene Sim0nov)
Prologue: A tale of two dams
In 2017, I visited 1,200 MW Budhi Gandaki hydropower project, 70 kilometers from Kathmandu, and found many similarities with the Egiin Gol hydropower project in Mongolia, long monitored by our RwB Coalition. 
Both projects were designed in the 1970s Soviet-school mega-hydropower planning style, both have not progressed in 40 years. In both cases, the international consultancy Tractebel Engineering proposed to increase dam height …

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[16 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

In 2018 at least 126 Colombian human rights activists have been killed according to Frontline Defender’s report, some of those killings are related  to the valley of Cauca River   altered by the Hidroituango hydropower project. Over last several years many activists protesting dam establishment  disappeared or have been killed by dam proponents. 
Since April 2018 this project is also haunted by tremendous engineering challenges due to landslides and mistakes in design which brought construction to a halt. Up to 25 000 people were placed under threat of imminent flooding …

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We are getting used to it: “No one was killed, we are happy” –became a standard  reaction to “better” incidents at large-scale dams   which are on the rise this year. So far in 2018 just on the RwB’s record large dam accidents happened in China, Colombia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Russia. On December 13, in a “mild man made emergency” one of three gates of Dicle dam on Tigris has broken pouring water in unprepared downstream valley and partially submerging UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides poor maintenance and lack of  public …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[29 Nov 2018 | Topics: ]

Greed, corruption and vanity – are main driving forces not letting large dams to sink despite the obvious fact they no longer make economic sense. New brilliant article in Yale 360 proves that.
The rise of wind and solar power, coupled with the increasing social, environmental and financial costs of hydropower projects, could spell the end of an era of big dams. But even anti-dam activists say it’s too early to declare the demise of large-scale hydro.

Dynamics of annual hydropower installation globally according to data from International hydropower association –IHA (MW) …

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[5 Nov 2018 | Topics: ]

There is a new evidence the IFC does not apply its own standards properly and this has implications for any hydropower projects they support. In a recent IFC CAO Ombudsman newsletter I have found investigation report on Lengarica Hydro in Albania that raises multiple concerns.
A small inherently inefficient 8 MW hydropower plant was built in Albanian  National park by Austrian firm ENSO and supported by USD 6 million by IFC. 
Organic Agriculture Association Executive director Lavdosh Ferruni  in 2015 filed a compliant insisting that IFC financial support is in violation …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[25 Oct 2018 | Topics: ]

 

Dam collapse Did NOT stop dams  in Laos
The July collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy saddle dam in southern Laos and the widespread disaster that followed made international headlines.
Shortly after the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy collapse displaced thousands and claimed at least 40 lives, the Mekong River Commission called the dam break a national tragedy, but also an opportunity. It’s one that “ushers in new hope for a more optimal, sustainable, and less contentious path for development of one of the greatest rivers in the world,” MRC CEO Pham Tuan Phan …