Monday, March 29, 2010

Lom Pangar dam Construction starts March 2010

Stake-holders involved in the construction of the Lom Pangar Hydroelectric dam in the East Region have averred that preparatory works on the dam will begin in March 2010 while effective work starts in November. This follows the completion of feasibility studies on the dam.

The announcement was made in Yaoundé recently during a workshop to launch the reformulation of the Social-Economic and Environmental impacts studies of the Lom Pangar Hydroelectric dam estimated to cost billions of Francs CFA.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Minister of Water and Energy, Michael Nganko Tomdio, said the construction of the Lom Pangar Hydro-Electric dam is geared towards increasing the production and supply of electricity on the Sanaga through a reservoir to check seasonal shortages.

“The construction of the Lom Pangar hydroelectric dam falls within government’s efforts of curbing power shortages in the mid-term”,
Michael Nganko Tomido.

To the General Manager of the Electricity Development Corporation, Dr. Theodore Nsangou, Cameroon is ranked second in the possession of energy potentials in Africa and hence should be able to produce and supply to the satisfaction of its citizens.

He however regretted that the shortages are as a result of insufficient infrastructure to fully exploit these potentials. Notwithstanding, Dr. Theodore Nsangou was optimistic that the construction of the dam will curb these shortages as the it will enable the Songloulou and Edea plants to produce a surplus of about 170 megawatts of power.

In earlier studies completed in October 2005, it was recommended that compensation be given to inhabitants who have been negatively affected by the construction of the dam. Hence proposals like economic activity and resettlement of the people affected by the dam was to be compensated for in order to maintain cultural and archaeological features and secure space for the construction of transportation and communication infrastructure that is primordial to the construction of this multi-billion hydroelectric dam.

After reviewing the 2005 studies, officials of the Ministry of the Environment and Nature Protection recommended that further studies be carried out on the impact and compensatory measures in view of the installation of the equipment at Lom, resettlement plan, environmental impacts and electricity cables linking Lom Pangar and Bertoua. Thus the objective of the workshop was to harmonise and finalise all formerly conducted studies so as to formulate the report to meet up with national demands and international standards.

To Dr. Theodore Nsangou, the validation of the Social-Environmental report marks a decisive point towards the launching of the dam project which is expected to be used partially in 2012. He reiterated that following the completion of the Social-Environmental studies, there will be a call for tender for a power plant and transmission. The call for tender will be in March ahead of the effective take-off of the project in November 2010.

The workshop was organised by the Electricity Development Corporation (EDC) and attended by officials of government Ministries concerned with the project, donor agencies, traditional rulers from the East Region and non-governmental organisations.

By NDI Eugene NDI

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