Aug 16 2008
1 Comment

Grand Inga: Leaving Africans in the Dark?

International Rivers Report – The potential to profit from the world’s largest dam project – the Grand Inga hydropower scheme, proposed for the Congo River – drew bankers, engineering firms and industrial interests to London in April 2008 to discuss financing for the $80 billion project. African civil society has been raising concerns about the project for some time, but was blocked from attending the London event. The meeting made clear that both the proposed Inga 3 and Grand Inga schemes would be developed primarily for major industries such as aluminum and mining interests. Project promoters would like the dams to be developed privately in order to minimize the government’s role and better control the project’s financing and operations.

The resurgence of the massive project made headlines in The GuardianReuters, the BBC and elsewhere.

“Grand Inga’s prospects of being completed by 2022 are said to have risen significantly in the last year as countries, banks and private companies have found they can earn high returns from the emerging global carbon offset market and UN climate change credits.” – The Guardian (Read the full article)

“The problems dogging the project are massive, ranging from political instability including the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) recent civil war to local objections and, not least, the massive costs involved.” – Reuters (Read the full article)
Congo’s existing dams, Inga 1 and Inga 2, have not increased access to electricity for more than 50 million Congolese currently not connected to the grid. Indigenous communities involuntarily displaced for these projects remain uncompensated. International Rivers is working with local people to ensure the problems that remain from these poorly executed projects are resolved before new dams go forward.

One Response to “Grand Inga: Leaving Africans in the Dark?”

  1. marilyn says:

    This is very sad news, and the cynic in me knows that this financing conference may as well be the first shovel of the dam, the pressure for its existence is so strong now..I feel this gross environmental and human tragedy is disgustingly inevitable when Western countries are so wrapped up in their capitalistic blinkered existence, that they cannot step out of their manufactured reality for 5 minutes to stand against ecocide and genocide in the name of Aluminium products to service their luxury lifestyles.

    How the hell can this dam be pushed forward on the premise of Carbon trading, when Brazilian dams have been shown to produce up to 57x more carbon than equivalent gas power stations? And what about the rainforest? I though people still had a heart for that at least..lets hope it stirs some anger in someone.

    When will the lessons of these huge dam projects ever be learned? This reeks of nothing but corruption, greed and gross destruction and suffering.