Tag Archive for 'sinohydro'

The Bullet That Killed Tomás Garcia

Photo retrieved from: www.internationalrivers.org

“The National Commission for Human Rights has calculated that there is a violent death every 74 minutes in this small nation of about eight million people. It has the highest murder rate in the world per capita.

But the bullet that killed Tomás Garcia came from an army officer, and was intended for killing the people who oppose construction of the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras. Tomás – a Lenca indigenous leader active on local and national indigenous councils, as well as the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) – was killed while walking with his son and many other community members to continue the blockade of the project construction site. The army has been protecting the interests of Honduran dam owner Desarrollo Energético Sociedad Anónima (DESA) and Chinese dam builder Sinohydro – the largest dam builder in the world – not the interests and rights of citizens of the communities who would suffer the effects of the dam. Sinohydro is expected to follow its own safeguard policies, including respecting the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples.  But those policies rarely seem to leave the paper.

Lenca communities impacted by the 25-MW-dam’s construction have been blocking the access roads to the dam’s facilities since April 1, 2013.  But the story starts in September 2010, when 41 hydrolectric dam concessions were granted – by the regime that ousted President Manual Zelaya Rosales – without any consultations with the people who would lose their lands, culture and as we now see, their lives.”


Read more: International Rivers

African Energy’s New Friends in China

Chinese companies are involved in more than $9.3 billion worth of hydro projects in Africa, including this one in Tulgit, Ethiopia. Retrieved from: www.businessweek.com

“When completed in 2013, Gibe III on Ethiopia’s Omo River will be Africa’s tallest dam, a $2.2 billion project that critics say will deprive birds and hippos of vital habitat. Some 600 miles to the north, Sudan is preparing to build the $705 million Kajbar dam on the Nile, which would inundate historic towns and tombs of the Nubian people, descendants of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The $729 million Bui project on the Black Volta River, to be finished in 2013, will boost Ghana’s hydropower capacity by a third—and flood a quarter of Bui National Park while displacing 2,600 people.

What these megaprojects have in common is Chinese money and know-how. Companies such as Sinohydro and Dongfang Electric are key players in their construction, and they’re financed by Chinese banks with support from the government in Beijing. The country’s engineering and manufacturing giants have recently completed or are participating in at least $9.3 billion of hydropower projects in Zambia, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and elsewhere on the continent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and International Rivers, a Berkeley (Calif.) environmental group.”

Read more: Bloomberg