Africa’s poorest nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo, plans to build the world’s largest and most expensive hydropower dam, Grand Inga on the Congo River’s Inga Falls. A day before I left for the DRC, the huge project took a significant step forward with the signing of a “cooperation treaty” by the DRC and South African governments.
Although I had spent many years working on the Zambezi River, the lower Zambezi region in Mozambique was unfamiliar to me. I had crossed the Zambezi at the Tete Bridge a few times before but had never been on the stretch between the Cahora Bassa Dam and Tete town in Mozambique, the site for the proposed Mphanda Nkuwa Dam. I therefore readily agreed when our partners Justica Ambiental (JA) asked me to come and speak at an event marking the International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14th in Tete.
The Kariba Dam holds back Africa’s biggest reservoir. Millions of people live downstream of it in the Zambezi River Basin. The safety of the 53-year-old dam has been called into question a few times, for various reasons.
Reporting from the COP-17 climate meeting, DurbanRudo speaking at COP-17Photo: Songqiao YaoSouth Africa’s President Jacob Zuma launched the COP 17 climate meeting in Durban last week with a speech on the potential for green energy to help build economic growth in South Africa. In a land blessed with huge potential for solar, wind, energy efficiency and other green energy sources, Zuma chose to highlight Africa’s biggest dam, the Grand Inga, on the Congo River. South Africa and DR Congo had signed an agreement to build the massive dam just days prior to the COP meeting.
Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them.
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