Sustainable Development

GWI animation: negotiating fair agreements between governments and communities affected by dams.

The Global Water Initiative (GWI) West Africa has released a new animation explaining how agreements between government and affected communities can be put in place to ensure large dams bring benefits to all.

Dam building has caused controversy when local communities, whose lives have been uprooted to make way for the dam, have not received the livelihood opportunities, compensation and/or services promised to them by politicians.

Better roads and water supplies, secure irrigated land, reservoirs for fishing, schools, clinics, and markets are among the benefits that dams can provide for local people.

The third and final animation, produced by the Global Water Initiative (GWI) West Africa, entitled ‘Negotiating fair agreements between government and communities affected by dams‘, explains how formal agreements can be used, as required by the ECOWAS Directive on Large Water Infrastructure, to put the arrangements in writing before construction. This ensures the state clarifies its commitments and affected people can better understand their stake in the project.

By making promises clear and binding, politicians are less likely to exaggerate the benefits a dam will bring. At the same time, local people can draw on the agreement as a way of holding the government to account.

“This animation gives policymakers a quick and simple overview of how agreements can be set up to keep large dam building fair for communities whose lives are disrupted,” said Jérôme Koundouno, regional coordinator of the Global Water Initiative (GWI) West Africa at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Watch below:

The Global Water Initiative in West Africa is an action-research and advocacy project. It works with family farmers and governments to shape policies and practices that support livelihoods and food security in the context of large multi-purpose dams. The project is funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and implemented by IIED and IUCN.

 

 

 

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