Can dams work for local communities alongside national good?
The Global Water Initiative (GWI) in West Africa is holding a side event at this year's World Water Week in Stockholm, looking at ways to make large multi-purpose dams more 'socially just and economically viable'.
Large dams and hydroelectric power station projects are often the subject of negative headlines, due to their impact on local sustainable development. The Global Water Initiative (GWI) in West Africa will be exploring the tension between national needs and immediate local concerns at World Water Week in Stockholm, which runs from 23-28 August 2015.
The side event, 'Towards socially just and economically viable dams in West Africa', looks at a region where multi-purpose dams are a key government strategy for addressing national food security and energy needs, particularly in the context of increasing climate variability.
In West Africa there are 150 existing dams and 40 more planned. But in the context of a rapidly changing world, do national development needs trump the rights of the local communities affected?
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), together with IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), leads the GWI in West Africa, supporting family farmers and governments to ensure that large dams improve livelihoods and food security.
Speakers at the GWI event on Sunday, 23 August (4-5.30pm in Room FH 201) include:
- Nouradine Touré, Regional Coordination Group of Users of the Niger Basin (CRUBN)
- Mahamane Touré, Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS)
- Jérôme Koundouno, GWI West Africa/IUCN
- Jamie Skinner, GWI West Africa/IIED
- Ibrahima Hathie, IPAR Senegal
The speakers will also be available for comment on some of the wider issues under discussion at this year's World Water Week, the them of which is 'water for development'.
Water is seen as central to all the challenges at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the previous Millennium Development Goals.
The GWI in West Africa is an action-research and advocacy project. We work with family farmers and governments to shape policies and practices that support livelihoods and food security in the context of large multi-purpose dams. The project is funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and implemented by IIED and IUCN.
- Briefing: Irrigated agriculture and resilience of family farms – a clash of perspectives
- Briefing: Obtaining the consent of affected groups: the example of Kandadji in Niger
- Factsheet: Niger: a local fund to share the benefits of the Kandadji dam
- Report: Specialisation or diversification? Divergent perspectives on rice farming in three large dam-irrigated areas in the Sahel
- Factsheet: Dams in Guinea: proposals for achieving local development
Notes to editors
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see: www.iied.org).