This assignment for IIED (The International Institute for Environment and Development) looks at dams on the River Niger in West Africa. The proposed Fomi dam on the River Niger in Guinea, West Africa, could provide irrigation and renewable electricity for Guinea and will displace over 45,000 people if it goes ahead.
Kiniero, Guinea, April 2015: Labourers working for Kabinè Condé, a brick maker. After drying in the sun for two days the bricks are fired in a kiln. This village will be flooded by the Fomi Dam.
Kiniero, Guinea, April 2015: This village will be flooded by the dam. Sory Camara, 31, fishing with his sons says his 6-year-old and won’t be going to school, but will be taught fishing and work beside the dam after it is constructed.
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: Baro village is above the proposed level of the Fomi Dam and will take in the displaced. Fishermen Lancine Conde, and Lamine Conde, said, “We all know about the dam and we’re happy to receive displaced people. The fishermen amongst them will help us control the fine-net illegal fishermen. We will also be able to fish in the dam lake.”
Kiniero, Guinea, 30th April 2015: This village will be flooded by the Fomi Dam. Mamady Camara, 35, has been a blacksmith since he was a child - he belongs to a blacksmith family.
Kiniero, Guinea, 30th April 2015: This village will be flooded by the Fomi Dam. Lansana Sylla, 40 years old, says, " I’ll use Fomi electricity to power my workshop and earn more money in less time…I’m happy hearing about the dam construction because indemnity or compensation will be paid and that will help me to have a very good and easy beginning.”
Kiniero, Guinea, 30th April 2015: This village will be flooded by the Fomi Dam. Ibrahima Condé, 77, who is blind, is the Sotikèmon or chief of the village. He said they’re ready to leave when the dam construction starts, but does not feel fully informed. They did not know that the dam lake would cover 502 km2, and are unaware of where the edge of this lake will be, where they will be displaced to, and what their new living conditions will be like.
Kiniero, Guinea, 30th April 2015: This village and the surrounding area will be flooded by the Fomi Dam. People attending the village celebration to commemorate the annual fishing day at a local lake the day before.
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: Women bringing home firewood from the forest. This village is above the proposed level of the Fomi Dam and will be receiving people displaced by the dam.
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: . Women harvesting mangos. Mafadima Conde, 19, married with one child. “We pick mangos from these trees because their fruit is really sweet. We can sell 5 mangos for up to 2000 GNF. These mango trees are on communal land so anyone can pick them."
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: The village is be above the proposed level of the Fomi Dam. Sacko Conde, 53, married with two wives and 14 children. He has been a hunter since he was a boy. He enjoys hunting, protects the forest and does not kill young or pregnant animals. He makes money from his hunting and met his second wife while hunting. “We are happy about the dam because we will have many benefits, we will be able to move out from darkness with electricity and we are ready to receive displaced people.”
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: This sacred forest of ancient “cheesemonger” trees, here before the village was founded. Ansoumane Conde, 58, says, “The sacred forest protects Baro Lake, an internationally famous fishing lake, and the village. In this forest we pray to the genie, make wishes which we pay for with leaves from another tree which we put between these trees’ roots. The actual prayers we say are secret."
Baro, Guinea, May 2015: Layeba Kourouma, 42, farmer and traditional healer with his cassava. He likes growing cassava because he can get three products from it – the roots, the leaves and the tubers.
Gbderedou Baranama, Guinea, May 2015; Hunters on their way to the forest walk past newly installed solar-powered street lighting. This village will be flooded by the dam.
Gbderedou Baranama, Guinea, May 2015; “We hunt in the forest every day. Sometimes we catch rabbit, partridge, guinea fowl, squirrel, agouti, roe deer and other wild game. Before there were plenty of animals to catch but now it is much more difficult to find game. In fact there are too many hunters in the area.
Sanana mine, Guinea, May 2015; will be flooded by the Fomi dam. More than 500 people work here during the dry season.
Sanana mine, Guinea, May 2015; A few miners have been lucky, one got 350 grams of gold from his mine in one month.
Sanana mine, Guinea, May 2015; Mamady Conde, 11, is standing in for his father, a partner in this small mine, who is ill. Mamady is on vacation from Koranic school where he has reached 5th grade.
Koumban village, Guinea, May 2015; This area is above the proposed level of the Fomi dam and will be taking in displaced people. Alama Sékou Condé, 48, married with 3 wives and 12 children, has been a farmer since he was young. His son, Mamady Condé, 10, carrying water on his head is in 4th grade in school.
Koumban village, Guinea, May 2015; This area is above the proposed level of the Fomi dam and will be taking in displaced people. Makany Traoré, 23, married with 3 children is cooking Lafidi, a traditional meal.