Mozambique: Mozambican government re-states that Mpanda N’Kuwa dam on Zambexi river is viable

29 April 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 29 April – The government of Mozambique re-stated the economic feasibility of the Mpanda N’Kuwa dam, on the Zambezi river, downstream of the Cahora Bassa facility, during a parliamentary session and rejected the skepticism of environmental organizations, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

Mozambique’s energy minister, Salvador Namburete, who, together with the minister for Coordination of Environmental Action, Alcinda Abreu, was at a parliamentary hearing with the Social, Gender and Environmental Affairs Commission to respond to questions following a petition handed in to the Republica Assembly by environmental organisation, Justiça Ambiental, gave no date for construction of the facility to begin.

In the petition, Justiça Ambiental complained of the risks that building the dam would pose, particularly those related to reducing the flow of the Zambezi river, thus affecting biodiversity, including reproduction of fish and shrimp.

Namburete said it was necessary to conclude the outlined stages, namely negotiations with potential buyers of power, the transmission company, the project’s financiers, the detailed environmental and social impact study and the technical blueprint for the project, activities which are due to be carried out by the end of the year.

Speaking at the end of the hearing, Abreu said the construction of the dam, as well as having the main aim of power production, would also make it possible to better manage water resources and had a significantly positive social impact, which was job creation.

Abreu also said that a survey was currently under way in the area that would contribute to an environmental impact study. (macauhub)