10 Questions on Grand Inga
Prepared for WEC Inga Financing Workshop, 21-22 April 2008
Revenue Management. DR Congo has been plagued by mismanagement of natural resource revenues through a lack of fiscal transparency and corruption.
1. What requirements and evaluation processes will be put in place to ensure sound revenue management prior to the construction of Inga 3 and Grand Inga?
“Model” Projects. Three Gorges (China), Itaipu (Brazil), and Nam Theun 2 (Laos) dams are being put forth by Grand Inga's promoters as "model projects" for Grand Inga to emulate. Yet these projects have been marked by poorly managed social and environmental impacts, huge cost overruns and corruption.
2. What is the track record of these “model” projects in terms of fiscal transparency, sound revenue management and adequate social investments for public benefit?
Privatization. The publicly held assets of the Inga rapids could be privatized through long-term management contracts or transfer of ownership. Interest in attracting industries to Bas-Congo province could result in community and public land giveaways to foreign industries.
3. How would the people of Congo be able to verify that project related contracts and power purchase agreements would be in their best interest?
4. What displacement and other social impacts will be caused by an industrial development scheme in Bas Congo?
Inga’s & Africa’s Social Legacy. The communities displaced by Inga 1 and Inga 2 have never been compensated. This echoes the experience of dam-affected communities across Africa, such as from Kariba (Zambia/ Zimbabwe) and Kainji (Nigeria) dams.
5. How will project planners ensure that the claims of Inga displaced communities, led by Mr. Simon Malanda, are immediately resolved to the satisfaction of the communities?
6. What commitments can project planners make to ensure that the outstanding claims of dam affected communities across Africa are resolved before more large dams are built?
Protecting Communities. Inga area communities which will be affected by Inga 3 and Grand Inga seek adequate compensation and resettlement plans, social benefits, and long-term benefit sharing.
7. How will project planners ensure that displacement and compensation are handled to the satisfaction of local communities prior to construction, and that the living standard of local communities is improved in the long-term?
8. What mechanisms will be put in place to evaluate impacts to communities over time and to address grievances throughout the lifespan of these dams?
Rural Energy Planning. Only 1% of DR Congo’s 39 million rural residents have access to electricity. In the SADC region, there are roughly 165 million people without access to electricity. Inga 3 and Grand Inga will not substantially change this. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals also requires energy development which targets rural communities and the urban poor.
9. What national and regional commitments and/ or targets will be set and achieved in rural energy development prior to the construction of Inga 3 and Grand Inga?
10. How will commitments under the Millennium Development Goals be achieved prior to the development of Inga 3 or Grand Inga?