Among the case studies, you’ll read about Maguga Dam in Swaziland, a strong example of a project incorporating the WCD principle of benefit sharing (an oft-neglected idea that adversely affected people should be recognized as the first to benefit from a development project, rather than simply being compensated for their losses). Through the hard work of local leaders, who worked closely with project authorities, the Maguga communities received water, electricity, and jobs from the project, as well as assistance with setting up farming cooperatives, and health and sports facilities. They were able to build their houses as they wanted. They could also decide to use part of the money they received for housing to develop businesses or purchase communal equipment. While this project did not address all the water and energy needs of the affected people, it did show that implementing WCD principles is feasible and can improve project outcomes for local communities.
To read more about this project and about other key principles, such as free, prior and informed consent, mitigating downstream impacts, and the need to assess all available water and energy options, download the briefing kit.
Do you have a river success story to share? Let us know in the comment section below!