SAVE THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
by Dave Humpleby
(Buxton, Mud Island (UK))
I worked on the Zambezi River, both above and below Victoria Falls, for a decade. The thought of losing the greatest commercially navigable stretch of white-water in the world to a dam project is abhorrent.
All around the globe dams are being destroyed. Other countries have learned costly lessons, seen the error of their ways and are restoring river systems to their former glory. Through time and experience these countries have discovered the long-term negative impacts dams produce. Why can't Zimbabwe and Zambia learn from these other countries' mistakes? The damage this dam will bring about in terms of ecology, culture, tourism, employment, livelihoods and local way of life will be devastating.
Having lived in Uganda for several years I witnessed firsthand how such projects seldom improve the quality of life for communities that depend on the river for their livelihood and way of life. Dams invariably destroy this and the electricity generated often bypasses the local communities for distribution to far away cities and sale to neighbouring countries.
I urge Zimbabwe and Zambia to explore alternative methods of generating power. Surely solar has to be a better alternative for the environment, economy and people?
Please do not destroy one of the most pristine, beautiful, exhilarating, awe-inspiring, humbling and wildlife-rich stretches of river I have ever had the privilege of travelling.
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