White Nile River Basin

Expedition 2010 Report

Note: Welcome to a blog series written by Alison Jones during her expedition to Uganda as NWNL’s project director and lead photographer.

Map of Uganda

Date: Tuesday, 23 March 2010; Uganda /Entry 1

Background: This is NWNL’s 11th expedition documenting our six case-study watersheds in Africa and North America. While NWNL has already conducted two expeditions to Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River, this will be our first trip to Uganda’s White Nile Basin. The Nile River Basin, one of NWNL’s six case-study watersheds, is an essential source of fresh water to one third of Africa’s population residing in and depending on the natural resources of the Nile River Basin. In Uganda, NWNL will photograph the two White Nile tributaries, the Victoria Nile and the Albert Nile and investigate conservation of forests, wetland habitats and ecosystems. NWNL will visit the following National Parks: Lake Mburu, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley.

From the field: On Monday March 22, the expedition’s NYC departure was three hours late due to a driving rain storm. The next day a pelting thunderstorm was covering Nairobi. Neither fog nor a wet windshield stopped NWNL from reaching our Nairobi base before flying to Uganda. The chirp of frogs and guardian gazes of three Rothschild giraffes on arrival set the stage for a great expedition.


Map of Uganda

Date: Friday, 26 March 2010; Entebbe /Entry 2

Background: Entebbe is the kick-off to NWNL’s expedition of Uganda’s White Nile River Basin. Nearby, at Jinga is the eastern source of the White Nile on Lake Victoria, where the water level is now vulnerable to droughts, increased water extraction from its tributaries and pollution. This eastern arm of the White Nile, called the “Victoria Nile,” flows 2300 miles (3700 km) to meet the Blue Nile at Khartoum, Sudan. But before reaching that confluence, the eastern Victoria Nile tumbles in a northwest direction from Lake Victoria through the chasm of Murchison Falls into Lake Albert where it joins the “Albert Nile.” The Albert Nile, a second source of this complex water system, forms at a higher elevation from early trickles in the Rwenzori Mountains, known as the Mountains of the Moon. These mountains are rapidly losing their glaciers due to climate change and are thus expected to produce less flow to the Nile in upcoming years.

From the field: Winston Churchill named Uganda “Pearl of Africa” in 1907. One wonders if his metaphor was meant to recognize the fact that every visitor comes to realize: the waters of the Nile define this country geologically, politically and culturally.

Entebbe is directly on Lake Victoria. The flight in from Kenya under heavy clouds revealed lush green vegetation and red clay roads. Settlement in and around Entebbe is mostly on hilltops because rivers of papyrus swamps surround each of the many hilltops, some of which have bridges crossing over these “swamp-ways.” Only recently have developers attempted to build in these lower wetlands – causing devastating effects of pollution and storm flooding.

While here, NWNL met with NAPE, the National Association of Professional Environmentalists, headquartered between Entebbe and Kampala, the current capital. NAPE promotes sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, particularly water resources throughout Uganda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. NAPE has agreed to be NWNL’s local expedition partner, facilitating our documentation, photography and in-situ research of the White Nile River Basin. Valuable information on NAPE’s website includes this overview:

Uganda’s economy relies heavily on natural resources. They range from land, fish from water bodies, livestock, wetlands, forests, wildlife, water, minerals and climate that provides sources of livelihoods and means to overcome poverty for the majority of the population. At present the natural resources contribute about 54% of the country’s GDP. Natural resources also contribute more than 90% of Uganda’s energy requirements in terms of charcoal and firewood for domestic use. With over 85% of Uganda’s population living in rural areas and employed in natural resources based activities, particularly agriculture, sustainable natural resource utilization, therefore, is key to Uganda’s efforts to ensure sustained poverty reduction (B. K. Kabanda, May, 2003).


Gathering water from Lake Victoria

Gathering water from Lake Victoria

Date: Saturday, 27 March 2010; Entebbe /Entry 3

Background: This NWNL expedition’s focus will be on the impacts of climate change, human population growth and settlement and infrastructure within the White Nile River Basin. Nile watershed issues NWNL is studying here include:

– Forest and wetlands: The headwaters face deforestation, dams and increasing settlement.

– Lake Victoria: Pollution and invasive species threaten the livelihoods of 30 million lakeshore inhabitants.

– Climate change: Increases in floods and droughts are greatly impacting indigenous species, communities, livestock and economic productivity in this watershed.

From the field: Entebbe’s Botanical Garden is a great introduction to indigenous flora and bird species in the White Nile River Basin. Small, finch-like bronze mannequins command equal attention as do a pair of great blue turacos flying over an umbrella tree. A recently painted sign at the entrance set the tone for visitors – and all of us around the world:

1. The human understanding is limited by the available knowledge.

2. Utilization of our biological resources is based on our understanding at a given time.

3. Therefore the search for more knowledge must continue so that we understand our biological resources better, thus utilize them optimally.

4. As we do search and utilize, let us conserve for the future. Who knows what? The future outlook may be different.


Pink-backed pelicans, Kenya

Pink-backed pelicans, Kenya

Date: Sat–Mon, 27–29 March 2010; Lake Mburo NP /Entry 4

Background: Here in Lake Mburo National Park, in southeastern Uganda, NWNL begins its 15 days investigating conservation and stewardship of protected lands in the White Nile River Basin. Lake Mburo’s acacia woodland and kopjes are home to roan, eland, impala, zebra, waterbuck and 310 bird species. In the park’s five lakes, there are hippo, crocs and sitatunga. Red, black- and yellow-crowned gonolek are found in papyrus swamps. The 26 local species of open-water birds include pink-backed and white pelicans, darter, fish eagle, long-tailed and greater cormorant, white-winged black tern, pied kingfisher, African finfoot, great white egret, and night heron.

No Water No Life’s focus will be on sustainable resource management that can protect the region’s ecosystems and all species – including humans. National parks offer much needed watershed protection, however even these areas are under threat as oil drilling, limestone extraction and cattle herding are allowed to occur within the parks despite federal restrictions.

This degradation of national protected areas, complicated by growing populations and poverty in the White Nile sub-watershed, mirrors similar problems elsewhere in the greater Nile River Basin, throughout Africa and worldwide. Last month’s devastating mudslides here are said to be due to uncontrolled deforestation and settlement and more severe storms, like the conditions NWNL has documented in the Mara River Basin’s Mau Forest. The human impacts of these disasters range from no access to water to water-related diseases and conflicts over natural resource usage. Impacts on Ugandan wildlife have resulted in endangered status of species ranging from the mountain gorilla to the shoebill, a swamp bird resembling the dodo.

From the field: Lake Mburo National Park is in the Ankole district and the local pastoralists have permission to let their large-horned Ankole cattle roam at large through the park. A dead zebra was said to be an indicator of the threat of cattle diseases spreading to wildlife.

The species in this park, such as eland and impala, are well adapted to waterless regions such as this park’s savannah areas. However, it is the rainy season, with gentle rains overnight and heavy downpours in the afternoon. That and the marshy areas around the lakes provide habitat for sitatunga with their splayed hoofs for walking in mud and orchids that hang like a string of pearls. The clear demarcations separating this park from developed land immediately outside raises the question of the obvious necessity for migratory corridors and buffer zones for these protected species.


gorillas

Mountain gorilla chewing on a vine

Date: March 29–31, Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest /Entry 5

Background: Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest is a World Heritage Site in the southwest corner of Uganda, with a dense rainforest still intact from the last ice age. On its Albertine Rift Valley ridges, whose elevations range from 3,805 to 8,553 feet (1160–2607 m), there are many gorges, streams and waterfalls, habitat to 90 mammal species, 100 fern species and 23 endemic forest bird species. The world-renowned highlight of this forest is its relatively large population of mountain gorillas. Bwindi has more than half of the world’s remaining population (about 330 of 600) of this endangered species. What must they think of the human footprint?

From the field, 29 March: The flight here from Mburo NP over “the Switzerland of Africa” revealed lush green farmland made fertile by abundant rain and rich volcanic soil. First – bananas, bananas, bananas. Then, on arrival in Kyonza – tea plantations, agricultural usage similar to land cover around the perimeter of Kenya’s Mau Forest.

This month is the rainy season in Bwindi Impenetable Forest, part of a 40-mile-long chain of volcanoes. Mist hangs over the montane forest ecosystem, which includes bamboo forests and hagenia-hypericum woodlands. A Bwindi Community Micro Hydro Power Project exists on the Munyga River, a small tributary of the Albert Nile.

The trek to see gorillas here in Bwindi’s 25,000-years-old forest, where it rains daily, was a grueling chase up and down vine-filled, muddy ravines. However the exhaustion was easily surpassed by the “value” of experiencing this tropical forest and a family of 18 gorillas. The treks along the Munyga River and up to its waterfalls clearly illustrated the value of a forest as a faucet. In neighboring Rwanda – also part of the White Nile River Basin – 80% of the country’s water supply comes from the forests the mountain gorillas inhabit.

Without the tourism dollars of those wanting to see these primates, the forest would be cut down to make room for more crop fields. So the gorilla’s presence is a great conservation tool for the forests. As well, every night each group of gorillas settles down in separate new “nests,” after breaking branches and clearing an open spot. This cleared space allows new forest vegetation the chance to grow. Thus these gorillas play a parallel role to that of the wolves in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River Basin where their presence helps keep elk away from riverine vegetation, as NWNL documented a year ago.


Masurua Swamp

Woman collecting water amidst water hyacinth, marsh grass and papyrus in Masurua Swamp

satellite image

Satellite photo of L. Edward and L. George

Date: April 1–2, Queen Elizabeth NP /Entry 6

Background: Our drive to the 488,000-acre Queen Elizabeth National Park will pass through Ishasha region, with its unusual tree-climbing lions. In shadow of Rwenzori Mtns, this park forms a saddle between the northeast shores of Lake Edward (the larger lake) and southwest shores of Lake George (the smaller lake). Its ecosystems include open savanna, rainforest, papyrus swamps, and crater lakes full of pink-backed flamingos. There are 100 mammal and 606 bird species here, as well as the Uganda kob. As well, this location has a reputation of having the rare occurrence of tusk-less female elephants. It will be interesting to learn what the possible causes of this genetic tendency may be – and discuss current status of poaching in Uganda’s national parks.

Egyptian geese

Egyptian geese

A boat trip on Kazinga Channel between the lakes will offer great “photo ops” of hippo, fish eagles, buffalo, elephant, and a wealth of bird life. Local fishermen come here in their reed boats from the village of Kazinga. They go out at night to avoid the hippos, which graze on land at night and spend the days in the water.

Within Queen Elizabeth NP, the Semliki River flows from L. Edward north to L. Albert demarcating the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, also part of the Nile River Basin. In some places the changing course of the Semliki River sparked confusion in 2009 over the location of the boundary. Due to the recent discovery of rich oil fields in this area, such boundary disputes between the two could lead to conflict.

From the field: Queen Elizabeth National Park, in East Africa’s Western Rift Valley, is a water-lover’s paradise. There are two shallow, but large lakes connected by a natural and wide channel with mountain ranges to the east and the west! Yet it is thought-provoking as far as protected area management in a country where tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner. We have seen several issues first hand. The park has local villages within its boundaries. One of the park’s lakes allows local fishermen to haul their catches. There was a salt plant on the lake shore that only worked 1 year because engineers used metal pipes.

One of the greatest current threats within this lovely park is a limestone mine for cement production. While NWNL has not been able to access this corner of the park, our Uganda partner, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), has produced a booklet explaining violated laws, risks and impacts concerning this commercial extraction. NAPE contends that this project disrupts migratory corridors of wildlife, has progressed without consultation with local stakeholders, and uses heavy machinery in a fragile ecosystem that is an internationally-designated RAMSAR site. Furthermore, the environmental impact assessment was approved without any public hearing.

One concern the limestone mining project raises is that the migratory corridor will be destroyed, forcing animals into areas where they will destroy peoples’ crops. This could result in the death of both humans and wildlife. Another concern is that the lack of legal compliance regarding approval of this mining operation will impact usage of other Ugandan natural resources held in trust for the people. Ugandan environmentalists are concerned that this precedence will influence the method of exploration of newly-found oil in this Albertine Rift of the White Nile River Basin.


chimpanzee

Date: Sat–Sun, 3–4 April 2010; Kibale Forest NP /Entry 7

Background: The 776 sq-km Kibale Forest National Park is full of lakes, marshes and grasslands and offers both swamp and forest walks. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a community conservation project, claims 335 bird species. The forest is habitat to the rare giant forest hog and forest elephant. As well, the forested slopes of lowland tropical rainforest, deciduous forest and mountain forests are perfect for the world’s highest concentration of primates, including 500 chimps, red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey and 11 other primates. A field of crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest and there is a superb community development fringing the park. This will be an excellent opportunity for NWNL to document the importance of forests and wetlands to a watershed.

From the field: Kibale National Park comprises both forests and wetlands – key components for tourism, employment and cash flow for communities near such “protected” areas. In many parts of Uganda, buildings and farmland now cover former wetlands. During the dictatorial days of Idi Amin, the caution and the wisdom of elders was abandoned as wetlands were transformed into roads, houses and industrial zones, ignoring all planning laws and enforcement agencies. Another sign of industry affecting this forest ecosystem was found in the constant cloud of large heavy trucks hauling rock to the Hima Cement Factory.

In a positive tone, Ugandan President Museveni requested this month that Africa’s Great Lakes countries protect their wetlands and forests to stem the spread of the desert. He said this was needed to insure future abundance of water needed to help generate hydropower for industry and reduce the cost of doing business. He also noted transboundary impacts of regional ecosystems on weather: “There are swamps in Southern Sudan called sudds and there are forests in the D.R. Congo that are key in the rain-making process in Uganda.” These regional wetlands and forests, the president claims, contribute up to 40% of the rains in Uganda.

With this in mind, NWNL documented how Kibale’s wetland sanctuary provides habitat to primates and birds that disperse indigenous seeds and is a source of water for the local people. Although residents have been advised to boil their water, many believe that the swamp water tastes better and has more nutrient value than boiled water. NWNL will pursue the health implications of this local belief.

As is so clear from the air, Kibale National Park’s forest has been divided in half by a swath of land demanded for tea farming. Kibale District has lost half of its forest cover over the last 20 or so years. Stakeholders are now working to reverse this trend. Last year the National Forest Authority evicted hundreds of illegal squatters; however, politicians immediately over-ruled that action and allowed re-occupation of Kibale District forests.

Forests throughout Uganda are suffering from illegal logging and the growing demand for charcoal and firewood. Even though prices for wood and charcoal have probably tripled, this fuel is still cheaper than metered electricity. Thus far, promotion of solar cookers or more efficient charcoal burners has not been very successful. NWNL looks forward to its end-of-expedition meetings in Kampala with stakeholders to learn about the government’s follow-up on recent proclamations that it supports afforestation and resettlement of villages on mountain slopes prone to fatal mudslides that are becoming more frequent.


Aerial view of Murchison Falls, Uganda

Date: Mon–Tues, 5–6 April 2010; Murchison Falls NP /Entry 8

Background: It is at Murchison Falls National Park that the Semliki and Victoria Nile Rivers join to form Lake Albert and the Albert Nile, which then flows north into Sudan where it is called the Mountain Nile. Murchison Falls (aka Kabalega Falls or Kabarega Falls) breaks the Victoria Nile’s northwest course across Uganda (from L. Victoria elev. 3720 ft, 1134 m, into L. Kyoga). Here, after having already fallen 1690 ft (515 m), the Victoria Nile plunges 141 ft (43 m) through a cleft in Rift Valley escarpment to flow into the north end of L. Albert (01° 0’ N; 30° 5’ E; elev. 2,030 ft, 619 m). The Victoria Nile then flows northward from the Falls, bisecting the park’s savannah & borassus grassland, an ecosystem with one of Africa’s densest hippo & crocodile populations, a lion population recovering from poaching, and many water birds, including the unique shoebill stork.

Lake Albert is Africa’s 7th largest lake, with a surface area of 3293 sq mi (5,300 km), and the world’s 27th largest lake by volume. The Upper Nile is a complicated system. Lake Albert has two main sources: the Victoria Nile which starts east of Kampala at Jinga, and the Semliki River which flows northward from Lake Edward to Lake Albert. The Semliki spills green sediments into the lake at its swampy southern end (01° 22’ 25” N; 30° 50’ 38” E) giving Lake Albert a salinity lacking in the Victoria Nile. Today, conflict is arising over oil recently found in Lake Albert. Lake Albert’s western shores fall within the Congo because the Semliki River is the boundary between Congo and Uganda, but its course keeps changing. This is another example of water issues affecting the transboundary stability of human cultures and nations.

From the field: Aerial documentation along the eastern shores of Lake Albert, en route to Murchison, revealed sites of oil exploration on fan deltas (there are approximately 25 such sites on L. Albert) and a hydropower site at Tonya Falls on the lake’s eastern escarpment. Neither the details of Uganda’s Oil Production Agreement, means of transporting the oil, nor the selected extraction companies have been publicly announced. This secrecy has led to many rumors in the press.

Hopes are that the expected oil income will be put towards food, healthcare, education and energy, rather than rumored purchases of fighter jets for a quarter of a billion dollars. On April 11, 2010, President Museveni noted Uganda’s need to focus on electricity and infrastructure: “Political clashing has blocked us [on developing electricity and infrastructure]. That is why we ended up setting up the Energy Fund now, and now we are moving on building the dams without losing time.”

Murchison Falls defines the northernmost tip of Africa’s Western Rift Valley, a 1,864 mile (3,000 km) tectonic trench between here and Lake Malawi. It has been “opened” for the last 12 million years. The park itself is defined by its abundance of borassus palms, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest and Rothschild giraffes. A boat trip up to Murchison Falls offered incredible photo ops of migratory and resident birds, Nile crocodiles (a species older than hominids) and hippos.

The ephemeral Yamsika River empties into the final reaches of the Victoria Nile and local people believe that their small gods lived here at the confluence, where pied kingfishers now nest in holes in the soft stone cliffs. Crocodiles and fish eagles congregate under the falls to gather fish mutilated by their plunge here 141 ft down into the Western Rift Valley.

Both below and from above the falls one can see the river’s natural “pollution” in the form of foam clusters moving with the current. These islands of bubbles are created by the action of minerals and sediments that are carried over the falls and become a nutrient-rich froth nourishing fish and riverine wildlife.


Pregnant Karimojong girl carrying baby and water, Kidepo Valley, Uganda

Date: Wed–Fri, 7–9 April 2010; Kidepo Valley NP /Entry 9

Background: The last of the six national parks to be visited on this expedition is the 556 sq mi (1,442 sq km) Kidepo Valley National Park, with its views of Alekilek Volcano, Labwor Hills and Bar Alerek Rock.

This park, on the Sudanese border, is comprised of savannah landscapes ending in the rugged horizon formed by mountain forest. Along its Lorupei River, there are Acacia geradi forests and kopjes – quite typical of arid Kenya. The park’s wide latitudinal range and resulting climate variety, accommodates a high diversity of flora as well as fauna. Carnivores here include lion, bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Ungulates include the lesser and greater kudu, reedbuck, klipspringer, bright gazelle, Rothschild giraffe and oribi, unusual fox kestrels and kavirondo bush baby. Tree-climbing lions are found in Narus Valley, and there are 58 birds of prey in this park.

This park is known for its giant kigela trees, big sand rivers, and fascinating walks. Kanangorok Hot Springs are located 6.8 miles (11 km) from Kidepo River Valley and 2/3 mile (1 km) from the Sudanese border. They tie into the geothermal activity of Lotuke Mountain and its crater lake nearby in Sudan. The Karimajong manyattas and kraals outside of the protected areas offer interesting cultural perspectives.

From the field: Abutting southern Sudan, Kidepo’s dramatic open savanna valley in Karamoja district used to be the “lomej” (the meeting point) where Karimojong, Ik and Dodoth pastoralists gathered for their hunting during the rainy season. Otherwise the scarcity of rain kept them nomadic and well dispersed, since Karamoja gets only 24–31 inches (600–800 mm) of rain per year, far below what is needed to sustain people and their herds. The rule of thumb is that at least 40 inches (1,000 mm) is needed to sustain people in a land without infrastructure.

In this valley where dry season dust-devils can rise up to 164 feet (50 m) high, three seasonal rivers that run north to meet the Nile in Sudan and deep, hand-dug and -shelved wells in sand beds have provided water for these people and the wildlife. In 1962, the Uganda Wildlife Authority gazetted Kidepo National Park and moved the indigenous people out beyond the park boundaries.

Traditionally, both the women and the men who lived here had rain ceremonies. The male elders slaughtered and read the intestines of a cow to predict when rains would come. The women would separately travel as a group, singing and dancing, to seek those who might have angered the gods by unethical practices, such as stealing a neighbor’s crops. When the women found the likely perpetrator, they would denounce him for causing the gods to withholding rain. With justice served in this raucous fashion, the gods were willing to release the rain again.

However, recently rain has become scarcer according to Faustino, the 100-year-old Karimojong chief interviewed by NWNL. Since the longest-running civil wars in Africa have surrounded and spilled into Karamoja, automatic weapons have proliferated. Thus – as in Ethiopia’s Omo River Basin – fatal conflicts over access to water and cattle raiding have risen with the increased frequency and severity of drought and environmental stress in turn causing severe famine. Recently the government has established a policy of disarmament in this region, which has reduced the killing and is applauded by many, including Chief Faustino. Yet, still, his people’s well has gone bad and their cattle have been raided. Fortunately, their village is sustained today by tourism income and a badly-needed health clinic and accompanying well are about to be built insuring water availability and quality.


The former Rippon Falls, where L. Victoria becomes the Nile and J. H. Speke camped in 1862

Date: Sat–Wed, 10–14 April 2010; Jinga /Entry 10

Background: NWNL ends its White Nile River Basin expedition in Jinga where John Hanning Speke camped in 1862, having discovered the head of the Victoria Nile. With the guidance of a member of NAPE (the National Association of Professional Environmentalists), NWNL photographed fishing on Lake Victoria, the Bujagali and Owen Falls dams, and a local resettlement village created for those who had to be moved out of the Bujagali Reservoir. Discussions focused on the processes followed (or not followed) in constructing these hydrodams. Also under discussion were other Nile River Basin projects that NAPE is focused on that impact Nile watershed ecosystems and water supplies, including oil exploration and extraction from protected areas.

From the field: The end of NWNL’s Uganda expedition was the beginning: the source of the Nile at the northern end of Lake Victoria’s Napoleon Bay! In 1862 John Hanning Speke was the first European to see Rippon Falls, submerged when the Owen Falls Dam was built (1954). At this hydrological landmark the Nile River begins its 4000-mile (6400-km), 3-month-long journey north to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our visit to Bujagali Falls, downstream from Rippon Falls, finally gave us an understanding of the power and drama of the Nile – of what Rippon Falls was like before the Owen and Kiira Dams. The Bujagali Falls provide nesting sanctuary for many bird species and are home to the spiritual gods of the Busoga Kingdom. Yet these falls will also be submerged when the government, with support of international financial institutions, finishes building another large hydropower dam, despite the failed productions of the two immediately upstream.

These losses will be in vain because it is all but certain that the Bujagali dam will never reach its promised production of 250 megawatts. The upstream Owen Falls and Kiira Dams, meant to produce 350–380 megawatts of power, only produce 120 megawatts now – less than half intended! This is because of Lake Victoria’s falling water levels due to climate change, increased extraction by growing populations, and deforestation in the headwaters of rivers entering the lake. Water amounts coming into the Bujagali Dam will be no different than that coming into the two extant upstream dams, as there are no additional tributaries between them and the Bujagali site.

A villager from Malindi where blasting for the Bujagali Dam has cracked many homes

Additionally, there were no proper environmental or social impact studies prior to construction. The government has largely disregarded the effects of the dam on the livelihoods of local stakeholders, whether resettled or suffering from the blast impacts. Surrounding communities (comprising over 8000 people) are struggling with landlessness, food insecurity, declining environmental quality, declining health, collapse of their fishing industry, and uncertain socio-economic futures. Resettled farmers, moved from the Nile’s riverine flood plains, have been struggling for 10 years to live on reassigned land that lacks water, sanitation or trees.

On top of these socio-economic issues, the cost of the Bujagali Dam relative to the amount of power expected will make its hydropower the most expensive in the world – certainly not affordable to the 90% of Ugandans who currently lack electricity. NWNL hopes that the advocacy efforts of its partners, NAPE (National Association of Professional Environmentalists) and International Rivers, will help raise awareness and mitigate some of the problems being caused by the Bujagali Dam. The World Bank and the European Investment Banks are currently conducting investigations and withholding their critical funding until the reviews are concluded and recommendations initiated.

Alison Jones at the Source of the Nile with flag of NWNL’s fiscal sponsor, WINGS WorldQuest