Is it right to move a conservation area because someone wants to destroy it?!
The situation regarding the Isimba Hydro Power Project here in Uganda is now critical.
In the next few weeks The World Bank, and Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) have to decide whether to block the Isimba HPP at its current proposed reservoir height and authorize only a smaller version or to break an international agreement between the World Bank and the Government of Uganda to conserve this stretch of river. This decision is going on largely behind closed doors but we need to let the World Bank know that the world cares what is being said and we care about the river that could be lost.
The World Bank will have to choose whether to block the proposal, or to compromise their morals by breaking the agreement that is in place and moving the conservation area to a different site so that the section can be flooded.
Moving a conservation area to somewhere else because the area is due to be destroyed is morally wrong, and clearly is against the fundamental idea of conservation. What is the point in creating a conservation area if, when it is threatened, it is simply allowed to be destroyed?
The agreement as it stands protects a unique section of river that is environmentally, socially and economically critical to the region.
We need to let the World Bank know that people all over the world are watching this decision, and that it can’t be simply swept under the carpet and forgotten about.
You can help!
Please email and/or write to your local World Bank representative, wherever you are in the world, and to let them know that you are concerned about this issue!
You can find your local World Bank representative contact details here:
Please send them a letter and write them an email expressing your concerns.
A template for the email/letter is below, which we suggest you modify to make it more personal:
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.