Public discussion on large dams in West Africa

04 April 2013 | News story

A public meeting on 'Large dams in West Africa: how to reconcile energy production, food security and conservation of ecosystems' was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on March 13.

IUCN in collaboration with International Relief and Development (IRD) and the French Institute, organized the event within the framework of the 'Maquis des sciences', an open discussion platform between scientists and the public.

After viewing the IUCN/ECOWAS documentary 'Large Dams in West Africa: Building the Dialogue' (view video here), the audience consisting of scientists and participants from the public were able to discuss issues pertaining to dam development and livelihood security. The central theme of the evening revolved around the question "It is possible to reconcile the objectives of national/regional development (water, energy, food security), with the objectives of local development and conservation of ecosystems for the benefit of affected communities?"

Mr. Moumini Savadogo, Head of Programme, IUCN Burkina Faso; Hervé Levite, Technical Adviser, Water Resources Coordination Center, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Mr. Sebgo Abdou, Secretary General of the National Committee on Dams in Burkina Faso; Mr. Bassiaka Dao, President of the Farmers Confederation in Burkina Faso (CPF); and Ms. Karla Krieger, Policy Adviser at the Department of Agricultural Research in Vienna, formed the panel discussion and answered issues and concerns raised by the audience.

For more information on IUCN's Dialogue on Dams in West Africa, please visit this website. The initiative also instigated the report: 'Decision-making and Dialogue relating to large dams and hydraulic infrastructures' which is available in French (PDF) and English (PDF).

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