Burkina Faso’s President, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, inaugurated the Samendeni hydroelectric dam at the end of November 2019. Having an electricity production capacity of 2.6 MW, it is the third-largest in Burkina Faso, after the Kompienga and Bagré dams. Its value is estimated to be US$105M. The Samendeni dam has been constructed on the Mouhoun River, (350 km from Ouagadougou). It is understood to be 23.9 m high and 2,900 m long. Its flooded area is of 152 km2.
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The proposal for building the dam in this community was first raised in 1976. It was not until 1996 that the first milestones did materialise for this project, which finally started to undergo materialisation in 2008. The infrastructure has a total capacity of 1.05 billion m³. This project was embarked on in collaboration with the Saudi Fund for Development.
Benefits to the community
The Samendeni hydroelectric dam will encourage fishing activities in the community seeing that the dam has already been filled with 38 species of fish. The establishment of this dam will strengthen food security by increasing cereal production in the country up to 3% and create at least 100,000 jobs. The infrastructure will help provide an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of rice, 150,000 tonnes of other cereals, 1,800 tonnes of meat, 150,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables. This dam will be beneficial to at least 250,000 farmers and residents, who have been undergoing extreme drought, aggravated by climate change. The Samendeni Dam is an indispensable part of the Samendeni Valley Integrated Development Programme (PDIS), one of the most ambitious development projects being initiated by the Burkinabe government.
This programme is financed by the Burkinabe State and several donors. Some of them are the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Saudi Fund for Development (SDF), the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (FKDEA), the OPEC Fund for Development (OFID), the ECOWAS Investment and Development Bank (EBID) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).