The board of directors at World Bank is set to investigate allegations of harm and related potential non-compliance plausibly linked to the Bujagaali and Isimba power generation projects.
In June 20, 2016, the monetary body received a complaint related to the Bank-financed Uganda Private Power Generation (Bujagali) Project, the Water Management and Development Project (WMDP) and the Energy for Rural Transformation Phase III Project (ERT-III).
Complainants raised concerns about potential social and environmental harm caused by the construction of the Isimba Dam reservoir and the consequent flooding of the Kalagala Offset area (KOA).
While the World Bank is not financing the dam, the complainants averred that, the flooding will undermine the management of protected natural resources in the KOA, which is a requirement of an indemnity agreement between the International Development Association and the government of Uganda as part of the Bujagaali project.
The inspection Panel noted the importance of investigating the timing and adequacy of management’s actions in response to the government of Uganda’s decision to build the Isimba Dam, which threatens the integrity of the KOA in potential non-compliance with the Kalagala Offset Sustainable Management Plan under the WMDP.
It also noted that the timing, sequencing and adequacy of the ESIA addendum, financed under the ERT-III with analysis of alternatives limited to Isimba Dam’s differing heights, reservoir levels and water level regimes, could constitute potential non-compliance with Bank Policies on Environmental Assessment and Natural Habitats, among others.
The two Request for Inspection were lounged in on June 20, 2016 (case no. 110), and on September 19, 2016, the Panel received a second Request for Inspection, case no. 113, related to the same projects.