Anyone who’s ever paddled the Zambezi River’s Batoka Gorge realizes it’s some of the best action-packed whitewater on the planet, packing an entire Grand Canyon’s worth of big water rapids into a single sinus-douching day. Now you can help it from being dammed…thanks to the coronavirus.
The review dates of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydro- Electric Scheme (Zambia and Zimbabwe) on the Zambezi been delayed due to impacts from the coronavirus. Now is the time to have your say – read the ESIA, make informed decisions, register your interest to help stop the building of this damaging dam.
Environmental Resources Management Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd. (ERM) is contracted by the Zambezi River Authority (the Authority) to undertake the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi River, 47km downstream of Victoria Falls. On 3 March 2020, ERM notified stakeholders of the availability of the draft ESIAs for public review and comment, and invited stakeholders to attend ESIA disclosure meetings in Zambia and Zimbabwe in April 2020.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority and ERM have taken the decision to postpone all public disclosure meetings scheduled to take place between 17 and 22 April 2020. This decision is in response to recent government-mandated travel restrictions and bans on gatherings of more than 100 people, which have been imposed within certain southern African countries.
Given the current level of global uncertainty associated with COVID-19, the Authority and ERM are unable to determine at the present time when these meetings may be reasonably rescheduled. The Authority and ERM will provide adequate notification of rearranged dates, once these have been established.
Note that the review and comment period for the draft ESIAs will remain open until such time that the Authority and ERM are able to hold the ESIA disclosure meetings, or until further notice is given by the Authority and ERM. Your input remains key in the updating and finalisation of the ESIA studies and stakeholders are encouraged to continue reviewing the draft ESIAs and to submit questions and comments to ERM: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stakeholders can access the draft ESIA reports and Non-Technical Summaries (NTSs) through the project website, www.erm.com/BGHES-ESIA and at the public locations previously communicated.
Contact ERM should you have any questions.
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