Select Page

After a busy season in Uganda both on and off the water with many attempts to find out exactly how high Isimba dam would be, we finally have news! An official survey was done at the dam site and the Isimba dam will flood through Vengeance rapid and to the base of Kalagala Falls and Itanda Falls. This confirms earlier suspicions that the protected offset area known as the Kalagala Offset will be flooded almost entirely. Despite the filing of multiple petitions by people who will be directly affected by the dam and the flooding of the offset, there has been no positive word from the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank, and the government of the Uganda about protecting the offset and compensating the people most in need who have been promised compensation.

Though Isimba dam was never considered to be a good or even great option for power on the Nile, its development was mysteriously fast tracked while known larger power generating projects such as Karuma Dam were shelved. The reservoir Isimba will create is extremely large and will flood thousands of homes and growing lands. Though some of the Ugandans whose homes will be under water have been compensated, many have not despite being promised compensation by the government. Thousands of Ugandans will lose their ability to survive once they lose their land without compensation and all of us will lose out if the Kalagala Offset is not protected as we will lose the last remaining wild section of the Nile.

Several weeks ago I traveled to Washington DC to catch up with Josh Klemm from International Rivers and meet with US treasury representatives, USAID representatives, and someone from the EPA about the state of Isimba dam and its threat to the Kalagala Offset. Everyone we met with was very receptive to hearing what we had to say. Josh asked excellent questions related to the refinancing and renegotiating of the Africa Development Bank’s loan with the US Treasury and if any of it could be contingent upon upholding and protecting the Kalagala Offset. The World Bank has itself been silent on the issue of protecting the Kalagala Offset saying that they are awaiting the results of the latest environmental impact assessment addendum which will likely not be completed until after Isimba dam construction is finished and the Offset flooded.

So really there are two things left to do now. One is to email the World Bank and the African Development Bank saying that you want the Kalagala Offset protected, and two is to email the ministry of Energy in Uganda and tell them that the offset needs to be protected and the displaced people need to be properly compensated. You can go to and click on the petition to the World Bank. Even though it’s getting later and later into this process, it’s not too late to help protect the Offset and help save the Nile for everyone to enjoy!! And the more people that speak out, the better!!

Finally, the two links below are more reasons why these big dams should not be happening at all. Please share this information with anyone and everyone who may be interested.