Uganda: Bujagali-03/Canada

Date Filed
01 Jul 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

Ugandan citizen in Canada

Cross-Cutting Issues
Indigenous Peoples Cultural Heritage Land

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

The Bujagali Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant involved a project to design, build and operate 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 July 2001, Mr Alfred Bageya, a Ugandan born Canadian, lodged a complaint with CAO claiming that the grave of his grandfather and other graves, which were located on Dumbell Island, would be submerged during construction of the Bujagali Falls Reservoir. The complainant alleged that the Bujagali Falls in general, and his grandfather’s site in particular, were in fact sacred sites that ought to be preserved. Finally, the complainant asserted that the project failed to comply with World Bank Group policies in relation to burial sites and protection of indigenous culture and traditions. The complainant’s contention that his grandfather was buried on the island, despite being unaware of the exact location of the gravesite, was based on his recollections from attending a ceremony in the area when he was a young boy.

CAO Action

This project aroused serious interest by many stakeholders including industry, NGO, Government of Uganda (GOU), civil society and impacted persons. According to IFC Environmental and Social Review Procedures, IFC reviewed the company’s Resettlement and Community Development plan and concluded that it complied with IFC safeguard policies. A house-by-house consultative process to best determine how to deal with spiritual and cultural matters during all phases of the project was undertaken. Surveys were also undertaken to identify graves and cultural property in the project area, including Dumbell Island, which uncovered no grave sites.

Status

CAO concluded, in its Assessment Report of September 2001, that the evidence provided to CAO by IFC contradicted the issues raised by the complainant. Despite recommending that the complainant present individuals who could corroborate the information he provided, CAO later concluded that the evidence provided by the complainant could not be verified. Accordingly, the complaint was closed in July 2002.

Case Documents

  • Dispute Resolution

    Assessment Report(s)
    Assessment Report
    Sep 01, 2001
    English
    Assessment Report
    Close-out Report(s)
    Close-out Report
    Jul 09, 2002
    English
    Close-out Report