Mékin Hydroelectric Dam, Cameroon

The Mékin Hydroelectric Dam is about to start producing energy in 2018, but there have been floods. IUCN/UNESCO point to the construction as one of the threats to wildlife in the Dja Reserve.


The construction of the Mékin Dam, in the south region of Cameroon, was completed in april 2018, after seven years of works, and it has already started the test to inject energy into the distribution system. The Dam is located after the confluence of the rivers Dja, Lobo and Sabe, in the north border of the Dja Natural Reserve, declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1987.

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Basic Data
NameMékin Hydroelectric Dam, Cameroon
ProvinceRégion du Sud
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project has been developed by the China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) for Hydro Mékin Society. The original cost of the project was about 25 billions FCfa -financed by China- but some sources said that the real cost has been of nearly 89 billions [5] http://www.camer.be/65272/11:1/cameroun-bon-a-savoir-gestion-des-projets-cameroon.html

The main dam and auxiliary dam constitute a reservoir of approximately 11.010 km2 with a volume of about 2×108m3.

The objective is to supply electricity for the Dja and Lobo department by a plant with a production capacity of 15 megawatts and an energy distribution line of 33 kilometres.
Level of Investment (in USD)44,283,782
Start Date01/01/2011
Company Names or State Enterprises China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) from China
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Public Works
International and Financial InstitutionsChina Exim Bank from China
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFoundation Camerounaise Terre Vivante: https://fctvcameroon.org

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature https://www.iucn.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
World Heritage Centre (Unesco)
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
OtherThreat to Dja natural reserve
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
OtherThe loss of livelihood for residents can potentially lead to increase poaching as the only way of surviving in the Dja Reserve.
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Development of AlternativesFCTV (Foundation Camerounaise de la Terre Vivante) requires to the Government and the entreprise that all the impacts -already evaluated in the ESMP- are immediately addressed in order to get that the project respect the people of the area.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.It is not an environmental justice success because the impacts haven´t been correctly adressed. Nevertheless, these probable impacts were identified in the Environmental and Social Management Plan done by the enterprise. That is a first step, but it hasn´t been completed.
Sources and Materials

Dja Faunal Reserve. Factors affecting the property in 2018
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Rapport de mission de suivi reactif conjointe UNESCO/ UICN à la reserve de faune du Dja.
[click to view]

L'état réagit face aux inondations du barrage hydro électrique de Mékin
[click to view]

Cameroun: Panique a la localité de Bengbis Sud, inondée para l'eau du Barrage de Mekin.
[click to view]

Bon a savoir gestion des projets
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Le Barrage hydroélectrique de Mekin bientôt operationnel en depit des larmes des riverains
[click to view]

Other Documents

Mekin Hydroelectric Dam Source: UNESCO / UICN
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAurora M. Alcojor, Carro de Combate.
Last update07/05/2019