A lot of people care about this issue, and have been asking us what they can do to help. So here it is… made easy.
A BRIEF EXPLANATION
The most important thing right now is that the World Bank stands up for the area they have pledged to protect. They are a huge organisation and have admitted to us that they have the power to stop the largest version of the dam if they wanted to, however, they also basically said (unnofficially of course!) that they will only act if their public reputation is at stake. So basically, if the public pressure is great enough, and enough people care and it makes them look bad by not acting they will stand up for their conservation area. They’ve done it before for this exact conservation area when another area was due to be destroyed, but only once enough fuss was made and it made them look bad to not act.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Putting pressure on the World Bank is the most important thing we need help with. This can be done in two ways:
1) Publishing articles on blogs, in magazines, newspapers etc that push other people to engage with the World Bank (point 2 below). Let us know if you have contacts for articles, or if you publish anything, and we will use it to help raise awareness.
2) Contact the World Bank directly and voice your concerns about the issue. This is most easily done via email, but can also be done through a variety of different mediums as you see fit.
HOW TO CONTACT THE WORLD BANK
We want everyone to email their local World Bank representative, the head of world bank in Uganda, leading high flying World Bank personnel in Washington, and anyone else you can think of in the organisation!
Here are some important email contacts to start with (but feel free to find more!):
Sheila Gashishiri firstname.lastname@example.org
(Head of World Bank in Uganda)
Sarwat Hussain – Shussain@worldbank.org
(Senior Communications officer, Africa Region Sustainable development, Washington)
and here is a link to make it super easy to find your local representative.
You can write to any or all of the above contacts, but better to address them all individually rather than sending a mass email out to them.
WHAT TO SEND?
There is a template email below, which we suggest you modify to make it personal. It can also be much more to the point to Sheila Gashishiri and to Phillip Hay, who are well aware of the Kalagala offset and the Isimba Dam, if you are emailing your local representative around the world they will need the full email background.
Remember the point is to pressure the World Bank to uphold their agreement (and much more important to them) their reputation.
Dear (ENTER REPRESENTATIVES NAME),
Representative for the World Bank in (ENTER YOUR HOME COUNTRY / REGION).
I am writing as a concerned citizen of (ENTER YOUR COUNTRY) about a serious issue in Uganda, which directly concerns The World Bank.
As a mitigation measure for the (World Bank backed) Bujagali Hydro Power Project a conservation agreement called the Kalagala Offset Agreement was formed.
The agreement between the World Bank and the Government of Uganda was put in place to protect the remaining stretch of rapids and river banks in the same region, for the sake of minimizing impact on the environment, the local people and eco tourism which flourishes in the area.
Now, the Isimba Hydro Power Project will flood a significant portion of this conservation area thus breaking this agreement. Isimba HPP is funded by the Chinese government, and due to be constructed by a Chinese construction firm, both of whom seem unconcerned that a conservation area is due to be flooded.
I am urging The World Bank to act on behalf of the thousands of Ugandans due to be negatively effected, as well as the environment, and the tourism that generates large amounts of income in an otherwise under developed region.
Fifteen thousand people, including 12,000 Ugandans from the immediate area, have signed a petition demanding the agreement be upheld and a smaller version of the Isimba HPP to be constructed (which would leave the conservation area unaffected).
Please stand up to China and the Ugandan government and uphold the agreement that is laid out by The World Bank to protect the stretch of river due to be flooded.
Thank you for your support and understanding.