The International Trade Center for Development (CECIDE) organized this Tuesday, October 24, 2023, a training workshop for communities affected by the construction of the Koukoutamba dam, civil society actors and the media. Objective to strengthen the capacities of these actors commonly called (working group) on energy and sustainable development.
The Executive Director of the International Trade Center for Development, Aboubacar Diallo, began by thanking International Rivers for all the efforts it provides to his organization. Which efforts allow CECIDE to carry out several activities in favor of the communities affected by the construction of dams in Guinea, particularly that of Koukoutamba.
Speaking about the objectives of the workshop, Aboubacar Diallo, the Executive Director of CECIDE indicates that it is « about informing the media, civil society organizations and representatives of local communities about energy projects, particularly the Koukoutamba project on environmental and social impacts, share the experiences of other countries in terms of energy policy and sustainable options such as the valorization of solar potential, better management of natural capital and the well-being of communities, finally provide members of the group work the keys to understanding the issues of energy transition in Guinea and the role they can play in this sense. »
For his part, Ibrahima Kalil Bamba, head of the CECIDE governance program, returned to the importance of this training.
According to him, this workshop, organized in collaboration with International Rivers, made it possible to “improve the level of information of participants on hydroelectric dams in general and on the environmental and social impacts, to learn the lessons of the issues linked to energy policy of certain countries in Africa and around the world. »
Anything which, for the coordinator of the Koukoutamba project within CECIDE, should enable his organization to « formulate proposals for the authorities to consider energy options such as solar PV and the concerns of local communities affected by the construction of hydroelectric dams, notably that of Koukoutamba. »
The financial partner International Rivers, through its co-executive director Josh Kleine, after presenting the opinion report of the Dutch Environment Commission, that of the energy study, did not lacked words to appreciate the seriousness which has always characterized the NGO CECIDE.
»CECIDE has always been an organization that has made the defense of community rights one of its concerns. This is why International Rivers has been supporting it for several years now. For us, it is important to have energy, to develop, but above all it is important to take into account the environmental and social concerns of the communities,” testified the co-executive director of International Rivers.
Oumou Sadjo Barry and Seydina Barry, on behalf of the Dogomet communities, expressed grievances to CECIDE, International Rivers and the authorities.
“After our visit to the Kaleta and Souapiti dams, we cannot tell you that we are worried. In the sense that during this mission we understood the impacts that the communities of Kaleta and Souapiti suffered. These communities lost land, houses and plantations as part of the construction of these dams. During the execution of the project, they promised them schools, hospitals, jobs for their children. Even though none of this was done. This is why we are taking this opportunity to ask CECIDE, its partner International Rivers and the authorities to do their best to ensure that the communities affected by the construction of the Koukoutamba dam suffer the same fate. May these organizations help us in the defense of our rights so that we do not lose our land, our pastures, in short our property without taking our rights into account,” they declared.
For their part, the journalists who participated in this training, through Mohamed Lamine Kaba, thanked CECIDE for having equipped them on the issues of energy and sustainable development.
»We come out of this training with a lot of knowledge about social and environmental impacts. Thanks to this training, we are equipped with the concepts of dams and sustainable development. From now on, we will be able to communicate well on subjects linked to social and environmental impacts to, on the one hand, raise awareness among communities on the paths to take in the defense of their rights, and to the State so that it understands the below linked to the Koukoutamba dam construction project. Once again thank you to CECIDE and its partner. »
Please remember that this working group and these focal points set up by CECIDE will receive other training in the coming months. This is to further enable them to understand the issues linked to the Koukoutamba dam construction project.