By Charles Ariko
CONSTRUCTION of the Bujagali hydropower dam has again come under attack by environmentalists who have threatened to block it, saying the redesigned project would face the same fate as AES Nile Power.
AES Nile Power, a local subsidiary of the American-based AES Corporation, pulled out of the US$500m deal in August 2003. This followed reports of corruption that led the World Bank to withhold its funding to the project and lobbying from environmentalists.
The environmentalists, under their umbrella NGO, National Association of Professio-nal Environmentalists (NAPE), on Friday said the problems that dogged AES were re-emerging and have threatened to start a vigorous lobby against the project.
Frank Muramuzi, the NAPE executive director, said, â€œThe Government should halt the bidding process or else they face the same fate that faced AES Nile Power. The Government seems not to have learnt anything from the previous experience,â€ Muramuzi said.
He was speaking at a one-day workshop at Hotel Equatoria in Kampala.
MP Ken Lukyamuzi lashed out at the Government for failing to transform the energy sector, saying it had led to increased electricity tariffs.