The closing of the Barro Blanco dam last year caused not only material but also cultural damage in the affected Ngäbe-Buglé communities in Panama. So far, funder FMO is not taking responsibility for the human rights abuses caused by the project. So, what now?
When governments assign areas for development purposes such as mining or large-scale agricultural production, often women are affected most. Women are often responsible for their family's food security, relying on access to natural resources such as land and water. At the same time, women have little or no access to decision-making procedures. By empowering women in the Kenyan Tana Delta, Both ENDS' partner Nature Kenya has effectively build counterpower and convinced local and national decision makers of the necessity to include women in land use planning.
Last week, Global Witness published 'Honduras: the deadliest place to defend the planet'. This shocking report clearly shows the worrying situation of human rights in Honduras and backs the demand of Both ENDS and partner COPINH: FMO must divest from the Agua Zarca dam.
A year ago, the Senegalese NGO Takkom Jerry filed a complaint with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank FMO, with support from Both ENDS. These banks finance the Sendou coal power station, right next to the fishing village of Bargny. The AfDB has now recognized the complaint. FMO is already processing the complaint and will publish an official response shortly.
The right to water is more important than economic gain. Last year, this has been defined by law in two municipalities in Honduras. Our partner organization ARCA worked long and hard to make this happen, but eventually succeeded. The ‘right to water’… what exactly does it entail in practice? Why is it so important, and why is this relatively small success still a true milestone? Sanderijn van Beek of Both ENDS was involved in this story.
After the second shocking murder of an indigenous rights activist in Honduras in less than two weeks the Dutch development bank, FMO, and the Finish development bank, FinnFund, announced a suspension of all their operations in Honduras. They declare that they will no longer engage in new projects or disbursements in the country, including in new disbursements in the Agua Zarca Project.
Representatives of the Dutch and the German development banks (FMO and DEG) are in Panama today to discuss the future of the controversial Barro Blanco project with the government. Last May, the locks of the dam were closed to test the dam, in complete breach of all previous agreements. Part of the surrounding land is now flooded and some residents might soon have to be evacuated. Both ENDS, together with seven other organisations sent a letter to the directors of the two banks, urging them to assume their responsibilities as investors in the project.