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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
Name of conflict:Mékin Hydroelectric Dam, Cameroon
State or province:Région du Sud
Location of conflict:Meyomesala
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The 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]

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project44,283,782
Start of the conflict:01/01/2011
Company names or state enterprises: China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) from China
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Public Works
International and Finance InstitutionsChina Export Import Bank (Chexim) from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Foundation Camerounaise Terre Vivante:
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
World Heritage Centre (Unesco)
Forms of mobilization:Development 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
Other Environmental impactsThreat to Dja natural reserve
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Other socio-economic impactsThe loss of livelihood for residents can potentially lead to increase poaching as the only way of surviving in the Dja Reserve.
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:FCTV (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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials

Dja Faunal Reserve. Factors affecting the property in 2018
[click to view]

Rapport de mission de suivi reactif conjointe UNESCO/ UICN à la reserve de faune du Dja.
[click to view]

Bon a savoir gestion des projets
[click to view]

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

Le Barrage hydroélectrique de Mekin bientôt operationnel en depit des larmes des riverains
[click to view]

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

Meta information
Contributor:Aurora M. Alcojor, Carro de Combate.
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3353
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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