In Madagascar, the entry into service of the Volobe hydroelectric plant (120 MW) could be compromised due to the insufficient water resource, reports Express de Madagascar . The Ivondro river, which hosts the infrastructure, is in great danger of not being adequately supplied by its tributaries, which are the Onibe, Namandrahana and Ivoloina rivers, among others.
Indeed these rivers which constitute the hydraulic network of the region of Atsinanana arise from the forest of the Corridor of Ankeniheny Zahamena (CAZ) which currently undergoes significant stresses. It is in fact the victim of massive land clearing, to which is added illegal mining.
“The ecosystem is threatened and its forest cover is shrinking visibly. The gradual disappearance of forests results in the scarcity of rain. The rivers thus see their flow decrease considerably and consequently, their force ”, affirms Lionel Armando Tezena, the regional director of Environment and sustainable development for Atsinanana.
The Compagnie Générale d’Hydroélectricité de Volobe (CGHV), which carries out the project, recognizes and deplores the deforestation of the Ivondro basin due to mining activities – sometimes uncontrolled. But it believes that it will probably increase the solid inflows from the river, but it will not in any way diminish its water inflows. “The Volobe hydroelectric project is a run-of-the-river development that is not very sensitive to solid inflows from the river and which can cause its small reservoir to be filled in because its volume has no effect on its energy production . In fact, the reservoir is operated at almost constant level without the need for a volume of water storage, ”objects the CGHV. For the company, deforestation will have no influence on the level of energy production of the future development of Volobe, nor on its future exploitation. In addition, “the activities generated by the project will allow local populations to improve their income and thus turn away from illicit and destructive activities for the environment”, she underlines.
Source: Agence Ecofin