Uganda: Bujagali-02/Bujagali Falls

Date Filed
19 Jun 2001
Status
Closed
Phase
Dispute Resolution (DR)
Country
Uganda

Case Tracker

Eligibility
Eligibility
Assessment
Closed
Assessment
Dispute Resolution
Compliance
CURRENT Status
Assessment
Closed

Complaint Overview

Complainant

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) & Save Bujagali Crusade

Cross-Cutting Issues
Risk Management Land Resettlement Cultural Heritage Land Water

Project Information

Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Institution
IFC/MIGA
Name & Number
Bujagali Energy Ltd 24408 (IFC) & 6732 (MIGA)
Company
Bujagali Energy (IFC); World Power Holdings (MIGA)
Sector
Infrastructure
Department
Infrastructure
Category
A
Commitment

$100m A & C loans (IFC), $115m guarantee (MIGA)

Synopsis

Complaint

IFC's support for the Bujagali Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant involved the design and construction of a power plant at Bujagali Falls in Jinga province, Uganda to sell electricity to Uganda’s state owned Electricity Board. The project also included the construction of power transmission lines, associated substations and a reservoir. At its full supply level, the project’s reservoir would inundate 80 hectares of land and 308 hectares of area previously occupied by the Victoria Nile River. This inundation raised serious concern amongst local populations in relation to cultural and spiritual effects.

In June 2001, the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and Save Bujagali Crusade lodged a complaint with CAO. This was the second complaint lodged to CAO by NAPE regarding the Bujagali project. The first, in November 2000, was deemed ineligible for assessment by CAO.

The second complaint raised issues related to:

1. Consultation and information disclosure

2. Environmental Impact Assessment, including consideration of alternative energy sources, approval of transmission lines, and cumulative impacts of a cascade of dams

3. Compensation and resettlement of project-affected people

4. Spiritual significance of the Bujagali Falls

5. Comprehensive management plan for the Nile and diversion of river course

6. Guidelines of the World Commission on Dams

CAO referred issues raised in the complaint relating to bribery and corruption to the World Bank's Office of Institutional Integrity.

CAO Action

Acres International was commissioned by the World Bank Group to undertake a comprehensive assessment and least-cost analysis of all practical alternatives for meeting Uganda’s future power requirements, which identified a hydroelectric plant at Bujagali as the least-cost option. Public consultations were held widely before and after the release of the Environmental Impact Assessment in April 2001. However, significant criticism resulted from the assessment in relation to the exhaustiveness of the consultation process with local communities. This project aroused serious interest by many stakeholders including industry, NGO, Government of Uganda (GOU), civil society and impacted persons.

Status

In the Assessment Report, completed in September 2001, CAO stressed its limitation to the issues raised and accepted in its Ombudsman role, however reiterated its awareness of the broader concerns that relate to the Bujagali Hydropower project. It was found that despite the project remaining in the pre-Board approval stage, it believed that IFC had been diligent in ensuring compliance with IFC Safeguard Policies. CAO noted a number of outstanding issues, amongst which were the lack of conclusive economic analysis of the project, the question of affordability of electricity to poorer sectors and the lack of a comprehensive management plan for the Nile raising long term-management issues. Finally, CAO determined that it failed to see a role for facilitation or mediation at this stage given that IFC had not yet made a final decision concerning its participation. The complaint was closed in January 2005.

Case Documents

  • Dispute Resolution

    Complaint
    Complaint, National Association of Professional Environmentalists
    Jun 19, 2001
    English
    Complaint, National Association of Professional Environmentalists
    Eligibility Memo
    Jun 28, 2001
    English
    Eligibility Memo
    Assessment Report(s)
    Bujagali Hydropower Project - Haplochromine
    Nov 01, 2001
    English
    Bujagali Hydropower Project - Haplochromine
    Assessment Report, Complaint regarding the Uganda
    Sep 01, 2001
    English
    Assessment Report, Complaint regarding the Uganda
    Close-out Report(s)
    Closure of complaint
    Jan 19, 2005
    English
    Closure of complaint