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    Reference: SG/E/2009/09
    Received Date: 02 December 2009
    Subject: Bujagali Hydroelectric Project
    Complainant: NAPE (Uganda), Counter Balance (Europe), CLAI (Italy), Sherpa (France), and legal representatives of locally affected people
    Allegations: Non-compliance with a substantial number of the Bank's policies, standards, guidlines and procedures
    Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
    Outcome*: Areas for improvement
    Suggestions for improvement: yes
    Dispute Resolution*
    Escalated to EO*

    * Admissibility date reflects the date the case was officially registered. All other dates pertain to the date in which a stage was completed.

    Case Description


    On 2 December 2009, NAPE (Uganda), Counter Balance (Europe), CLAI (Italy), Sherpa (France), and legal representatives of locally affected people launched a complaint with the EIB Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM). The complainants alleged non-compliance with a substantial number of the EIB's policies, standards, guidelines and procedures, leading to:

    • Failure to meet European development objectives
    • Failure to assess the economic and environmental soundness of the project
    • Failure to guarantee fair compensation to affected communities
    • Failure to ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures.

    On that basis, the complainants asked to suspend disbursements on the project until the above issues had been satisfactorily addressed. 

    EIB-CM Action

    Having reviewed all available information, the EIB-CM launched an Initial Assessment which included a fact-finding visit to Bujagali. On the basis of an Initial Assessment, the EIB-CM identified the major areas of concern, including negative environmental, social and developmental impacts, mostly regarding the project implementation, for which specific investigation work was undertaken:  

    • Economic feasibility and affordability
    • Resettlement Action Plan (Naminya Community)
    • Compensation of T-line affected people
    • Spiritual matters
    • Blasting effects (mainly Malindi Community)
    • Kalagala Offset

    In particular, the EIB-CM took the outcome of past investigations by the World Bank’s Inspection Panel (WB-IP) and by the African Development Bank’s Independent Recourse Mechanism triggered by a similar complaint into account.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    The areas of concern identified during the EIB-CM Initial Assessment in 2010 regarding concrete environmental and social impacts have been the subject of dialogue and follow-up between the EIB-CM, the financiers, the borrower and the local authorities. All of those issues have been resolved in line with EIB-CM suggestions and/or recommendations:

    • Resettlement of project affected people - now fully addressed;
    • Impacts of project blasting activities – successfully concluded in May 2013 through a collaborative resolution process which was handled and facilitated by the EIB-CM;
    • Compensation of Transmission Line affected people (connecting Bujagali to the network) - now fully addressed by the national authorities in line with EIB-CM recommendations;
    • Implementation of the Kalagala offset - now fully addressed in line with EIB-CM recommendations;
    • Consideration given to spiritual issues - now fully settled.

    Project Information