The Zambian government announced its decision to halt plans to construct a hydropower dam across the Luangwa river. In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statements from Nachilala Nkombo and Michele Thieme:
“Keeping the Luangwa river free-flowing is the best decision for both people and nature, and WWF commends the government for halting the dam and instead seeking lower impact, renewable alternatives to power Zambia’s development. WWF is ready to support the government to develop a system-wide energy plan that meets Zambia’s climate and energy goals without damming our remaining free-flowing rivers.”
-Nachilala Nkombo, WWF Zambia Country Director
“This is a major win, for all of the life that depends on the free-flowing Luangwa and rivers like it elsewhere. It is never too late to reassess plans for large dams and consider less damaging alternative options to fulfill energy needs like properly sited wind and solar. Other countries should follow Zambia’s lead and ensure that the life-giving resources that free-flowing rivers provide are maintained while still meeting development needs.”
-Michele Thieme, Lead Freshwater Scientist at WWF US and author of Mapping the World’s Remaining Free-Flowing Rivers in the scientific journal Nature.