Backgrounder: Profile of Negative Impacts of EDC-Supported Dams
The following dams have ongoing, lasting impacts on the communities and environment:
The Chamera II dam in northern India is continuing the devastation caused by the Chamera I dam, despite the fact that social and environmental issues of the first dam remain unaddressed. The first dam turned 18 kilometres of forested valleys into a lake, in an area already greatly suffering from deforestation. Landslides are increasing and the Chamera dams are located in an earthquake zone known as seismic zone V the highest seismic area in India. The EDC provided $403 million (US) in loans for the Chamera dam in 1984 and $175 million (US) in 1999 for Chamera II.
The Urrá hydroelectric dam in Colombia has destroyed the traditional food supply of the Embera Katio indigenous nation, and flooded Embera land, crops, and sacred sites. Epidemics of malaria and dengue have also been reported. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Embera leaders who have spoken out about the dams have been killed. On June 2, 2001, Kimy Pernia Domico - an Embera leader who testified at Canadian parliamentary hearings about the impact of the dam - was kidnapped by paramilitary gunmen. His whereabouts remain unknown. Since then, other leaders and communities have been threatened. EDC loaned $18.2 million to the construction of the dam without having had prior consultation with the Embera people.
The Manantali dam in Senegal has seriously upset the basin's ecosystems and destabilized traditional economic activities, with the result that the region has become the poorest in all three countries. Increased social inequalities and malnutrition have caused a mass exodus of workers from the river basin. The development of irrigated agriculture and the fact that salt water is now prevented from entering the delta have caused a proliferation of carriers of endemic, according to a 1997 report by the African Development Bank. The amount of EDC report has not been made public.
The Ralco dam, the second of six to be built along Chile's Biobío River, will flood 3,400 hectares of land, displace 600 people, 400 of them Pehuenche Indians. Many illegalities have occurred during the approval process of this project in Chile, including the dismissal of the heads of the environment and indigenous departments. There are currently three court cases on the dam pending in Chile. EDC is providing $17 million (US) for Ralco and has already put $20.5 million (US) into financing the first dam, Pangue.
China's Three Gorges Dam is considered to be the world's single most environmentally damaging project under construction today. The corruption-ridden project will flood an area 660 kilometres long, submerging archaeological sites and violating the human rights of between 1.3 and 2 million people who will be forcibly relocated. EDC was the first export credit agency to support the Three Gorges dam, providing financing of $12 million (US) in 1994, and $153 million (US) in 1997.