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As the need for power surges, are small – or big – dams the answer?

To provide more clean energy, particularly in fast-growing Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the world needs more hydropower dams, energy experts say.

But a surge in building of big dams is also leading to poor people being displaced and losing rights to water – something that needs to be addressed if more dam projects go ahead, community leaders and researchers say.

By Stella Paul

Africa, September 2, 2015

Reuters

To provide more clean energy, particularly in fast-growing Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the world needs more hydropower dams, energy experts say.

But a surge in building of big dams is also leading to poor people being displaced and losing rights to water – something that needs to be addressed if more dam projects go ahead, community leaders and researchers say.

“When you build a mega dam … your land acquisition and inundation creates a great level of displacement. This is a disastrous plan and not true development,” charged Rajendra Singh, an Indian water activist and winner of this year’s Stockholm Water Prize for his efforts in protecting rivers and boosting rainwater harvesting.

 

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