You might not be able to do much to help kayaking icon Steve Fisher on the water, but you can help save his home, which will earn you eddy-cutting privileges ahead of him for your lifetime. Earlier in March, Fisher issued a plea to all paddlers to help prevent a dam on the south section of the Nile that would flood the last of its world-class whitewater.
The dam threat is on the south section of the Nile, and comes from the Isimba Dam Hydro Power Project. “It could spell the end of days for Nile Special McNasties,” he says.
He adds that not many people know about it yet because it’s not on the international radar. “Perhaps the silence is because no international conflict threatens this project or that so few defenders exist for the Ugandan section,” says Fisher. “Whatever the reason, the lack of news does not negate the problems the Ugandans face as the Isimba Dam threatens the Nile River.”
Three levels have been proposed for the height of Isimba Dam, which is expected to be completed in 2018. The highest level of the dam, and its associated reservoir, is estimated to displace more than 2,000 Ugandans, who are predominantly subsistence farmers. It would also flood a world-famous section of whitewater, says Fisher. “The whitewater attracts people from around the world, creating a tourism industry that has supported thousands of Ugandans through well-paid jobs,” he says.
Those opposing the third proposal of the Isimba Dam are asking for a compromise. They agree to the lowest version of the Isimba Dam, which would still generate enough electrical power to supplement Uganda’s requirements and barely affect on the whitewater section of the Nile.
The defenders of the Ugandan section of the Nile have created a petition to send to the Ugandan Government, which Fisher and others are hoping paddlers will sign so they can present it to the Ugandan government.
“Soon we will learn if we lose the remaining rapids of the Nile or not,” he says. “While it is unlikely that we could prevent another dam being built, there is a chance for us to influence which of three sized dams gets built. The smallest option will not flood the popular section of river. We’re urging the Ugandan government to downsize the Isimba Dam Hydro Power Project on Uganda’s Nile. We believe the smaller alternative offers the better balance for Uganda’s future.”
Sign the petition HERE