Baseline Social Analysis for the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Power Project

Name of Client:

World Bank and Nile Basin Initiative


Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda



Narrative description of Project:

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric and Multipurpose Project (RRFP) is the first major NELSAP infrastructure project designed within the overall Kagera Basin Integrated Development Framework promoted by the NBI/NELSAP and identified through the SSEA process.

The project supports the national development strategies as outlined in the three PRSPs emphasizing the importance of energy and water through regional cooperation for economic growth, development and stability. The project is strategically located on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania and provides for important backbone transmission interconnections between Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC and will promote regional power trade interlinking also the EAC countries with potential for future interconnection to the South African Power Pool (SAPP).

The project area is within a radius of about 30kms of the Rusumo Falls, and within a distance of 5 kms on either side of the 3 transmission lines from Rusumo to Gitega, Kabarondo and Biharamulo respectively. The project entails construction of a dam, power house and transmission lines. In addition to the hydropower production and regional transmission interconnection the project includes multipurpose components to share benefits from the project ensuring the interest of project affected people is taken into account including environmental management issues.

Description of actual services provided by your staff within the assignment:

EMC Consultants were contracted to undertake a Rapid Baseline Social Analysis for the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Dam Project. The scope of work for the rapid social analysis included undertaking relevant global and African case studies of similar trans-boundary and multipurpose projects, using available data sources and existing structures and systems to obtain base line data (gender and location disaggregated where possible) for among others the following people and population in the project area following the given boundaries, livelihoods and Income, education, public health and water and sanitation; identify the key stakeholder groups at all levels – governmental, NGO, community-based organizations, and villages affected and affecting the project and suggest ways of enhancing their active participation at every stage of the project; identify  potential social risks to the project and their related mitigation measures that need to be considered in the design of the project; identify opportunities and constraints arising out of the country’s socio-cultural (including gender), institutional, historical and political context, and recommend effective strategies to enhance widely-shared socio-economic development and poverty reduction through a multipurpose hydropower project; identify other key interventions that have a bearing on this project and to which the project can be linked for maximum results especially in terms of project areas development (e.g. the mining companies, Barrick and others, to see whether there are possibilities of linking corporate social responsibility programs for maximum synergy and minimum overlap); participate in a regional workshop to share lessons learnt from this assignment with the PIC, and help demonstrate the role of upstream social analysis in project design.

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