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"We must abandon everything" - Impact of the Souapiti dam on displaced communities in Guinea

Production from the Souapiti dam, however, has a human cost. The dam's reservoir will displace about 16,000 people from 101 villages and hamlets. By the end of 2019, the Guinean government had displaced 51 villages, and, according to its statements, it planned to carry out the remaining resettlements within a year. Forced to leave the homes and farmland of their ancestors, much of which is already flooded or in the process of being flooded, displaced communities are struggling to feed their families, restore their livelihoods and live in dignity...

The China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Three Gorges Corporation...is building the dam and will own and operate it jointly with the Guinean government...The Souapiti Dam is also part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project...China's state-owned export-import bank (China Eximbank) has lent more than US$150 billion...to support BRI projects and is financing the Souapiti Dam...

This report describes the impacts of the Souapiti Dam on displaced populations' access to land, food, and livelihoods. It is based on more than 90 interviews with people already displaced, communities to be displaced and the villages to which they are being resettled, as well as with business and government officials involved in the resettlement process. It makes recommendations on how to improve resettlement in the future and describes the remedies needed by communities already displaced...

CWE...stated that the resettlement process is the responsibility of the government of Guinea but added that as a shareholder in the Souapiti project, the company, "is involved in the resettlement and plays a supervisory role. "...The company said that "in order to ensure the transparency of the resettlement," it has set up a computer system jointly with the government to track the progress of the resettlement and other relevant data...China Eximbank should also oversee the resettlement process...

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