President of the World Bank urged to adopt the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams during the opening of a meeting between the Nile Basin countries in Geneva
26 June 2001
More than six months after the publication of the World Commission on Dam's final report, the World Bank still doesn't support its guidelines. "It discredits three years of exemplary work which has led all the stakeholders of the very controversial topic of big dams to work together in order to forge a new consensus" said Thierry Pellet of the Berne Declaration. "These hesitations are to be deplored even more that the World Bank greatly supported the process" he added.
In a letter to President J. Wolfensohn last March, 85 NGOs and movements from 30 countries protested against that position, qualified as "ill-advised, disappointing and in parts inappropriate"
Christine Eberlein, of the Berne Declaration, invited the ten riparian countries of the Nile basin "to open their new ambitious collaboration by underlining the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams as a central reference". "We regret that the meeting largely ignores this key issue" she added "because the recommendations are important to ensure a sustainable collaboration between the riparian countries and all stakeholders" she concluded.
The Berne Declaration presented the example of the Bujagali dam in Uganda. It commented that "the project is too flawed to go ahead as planned". It does not meet the recommendations of the WCD and it does not respond directly to the core needs of the majority of Ugandans.