A Chinese construction firm has started the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam on Niger to help bolster electricity capacity of the country.
China Gezhouaba Group Company (CGGC) is expected to spearhead construction work on the Kandadji hydroelectric dam on the Niger River. It will provide 130 MW of electricity.
President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou says that the project will not only boost Niger’s energy portfolio but also enhance the economy of the area.
“It is not only a question of producing electricity, but also of regenerating the river’s ecosystem, while creating the conditions for local development,” he said.
“The work also concerns environmental protection with the displacement and resettlement of populations.”
Completion of the Kandadji hydroelectric dam project has been set for 2020. It will cost a total of €130 million.
Africa Development Bank(AfDB), the main donor of the project, is hopeful that the dam will increase access to water for agricultural development in Niger and thus improve food security and living conditions for the population, through the development of a potential irrigable land area of some 45,000 hectares.
But the project which is closely being monitored by president Issoufou, is expected to displace 50,000 people from 24 villages. The ecosystem of a large population of hippos and manatees will also be disrupted as these mammals are displaced.
The dam is being supported by the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the French Development Agency (AFD). Together with the Government of Niger.