By kjfitz @ 2010-11-24 08:43:16
The Manantali Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Bafing river, 90 km to the south-east of Bafoulabé, in Mali's Kayes Region.
It is managed by the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River (l’Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal, or OMVS). The dam irrigates 2,550 square kilometres of land and maintains the navigability of the Senegal River between Saint-Louis, Senegal and Ambidédi, Mali.
Construction on the dam began in 1981 and was completed in 1987, but a World Bank loan was required before the turbines could be installed; the dam produced its first megawatt of electricity in 2001. The dam has proved controversial for its displacement of local villages from the flooded area, and for its environmental and health-related impacts.
Deforestation of an already arid region, the displacement of farmers who cannot afford to purchase irrigation fixtures to utilize the dam waters, an increase in water-borne disease, and a sharp decrease in the vitality of local fisheries are just some of the consequences that have detracted from the Manantali Dam's success.