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Bumbuna II Dam, Sierra Leone

The second phase of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project reaches out to construct another dam 32km upstream of Bumbuna I close to the village Yiben on the same river. The destruction of the wetland will cost the livelhood of the surrounded villages.


It is no longer than 3 years ago (2017) when the project of Bumbuna II Dam was supposed to be in operation with the ambitious goal to increase in supply from 50MW to 350MW. Considering the delayed implementation of Bumbuna I, it is no surprise that by July 2020 the financial closing is moving closer. The second phase of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project reaches out to construct another dam 32km upstream of Bumbuna I close to the village Yiben on the same river (Seli). The predicted capacity of Bumbuna Dam became adjusted to the number of 140MW. However, the underlying narrative behind this massive infrastructure project did not change: “Bumbuna Hydro II is expected to have an extremely positive impact, enabling sustainable economic development in Sierra Leone”, says the Managing Director of InfraCo Africa [1]. Besides enabling the industry to be more competitive it is assumed that at the peak of project construction, up to 2,500 local jobs will be generated [2]. According to the Minister of Energy the construction is forecast to start in 2021 with its completion four years later.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bumbuna II Dam, Sierra Leone
Country:Sierra Leone
State or province:Northern province
Location of conflict:Yiben
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Bumbuna II hydropower project includes the construction of a new dam on the Seli River at Yiben, 32 km upstream of the Bumbuna I dam. The reservoir will have a surface area of 115 km². The new dam will supply water to a hydroelectric power station equipped with two turbines. Bumbuna II is also intended to extend the Bumbuna I hydroelectric power station, which currently has three turbines.

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Project area:11,500
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectaround $10 million (not decided yet)
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Joule Africa Ltd.
SELI Hydropower
Relevant government actors:Sierra Leone's Ministry of Energy
International and Finance InstitutionsInfraCo Africa - Investment of $6 million
ElectriFi from Belgium - Investment of $3,5 million
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageUnknown
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Displacement
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials

[1] Afrik21 (2020). Jean Marie Takouleu
[click to view]

[2] Sierra Leone Telegraph (2020). Abdul Rashid Thomas
[click to view]

[3] Electrifi (2018). European Union
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Demo Video of Seli Hydropower 2nd Phase of Bumbuna
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Dennis Schüpf, EJAtlas Intern, [email protected]
Last update10/09/2020
Conflict ID:5210
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Legal notice / Aviso legal
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