The aim of this project is to create more awareness about the complexity of rivers, with a focus on the ambiguity of large-scale hydropower. The effectiveness of hydropower as a base load energy source for low-powered countries is, due to climate change and correlated extreme weather conditions (e.g. drought), getting less and less reliable. This, in combination with potential water shortages and other negative impacts that a hydropower dam has on surrounding and lowland areas, causes in some cases that hydropower development has a net negative impact on the the natural and social environment.
This dilemma deserves more attention in mainstream media and therefore we try to accelerate the debate and at the same time pay attention to viable alternatives (think of solar PV, wind, micro-hydro) and ask ourselves the question: what is true sustainable energy in times of climate change?
We will start at the source of the White Volta in Burkina Faso (close to the Malinese border) and follow the river for over 1.000 km all the way down to the Gulf of Guinea in Ghana. By tracking the river we are able to provide an insight in social, economic and environmental sustainability issues that play a key role in different geographies. From upstream to downstream, desert to lush-green and one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world, Lake Volta. From forced migration in the 1960s to current deployment for electricity production and the impact of climate change on these systems.
The result will be a multi-media production based on a compilation of interviews, 360 film, photographs and observations during the journey. A series public engagement activities will follow after online publication, in cooperation with our (media)partners.