Rapport D’E. I. E

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titreRapport D’E. I. E
date de publication18.01.2018
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Description of the project

  • The present situation

The Felou falls are situated on the Senegal River, about 200 km downstream of the Manantali dam, and about 15 km upstream of the town of Kayes.

A small hydropower station was built in the early 1920’s, and was rehabilitated in 1992.

The present capacity of the station is 600 kW, obtained by means of a flow through the turbines of 5 m3/s, or about 1% of the flow of the river.

The existing weir comprises a low wall, made of concrete and masonry, across the width of the river on the lip of the falls, at water level 40 m. From this, a diversion channel, with a width of about ten meters, runs on the left bank for about 0,5 km to a powerhouse situated at the lower end of the rapids (with a head of about 14 m), equipped with a Francis turbine. The diverted flow re-enters the river at the base of the falls. The diversion to the powerhouse hardly affects the flow over the falls at all, since Manantali releases at least 100 m3/s even in the driest months.

The villages of Lontou and Bangassi lie on the south (left) bank of the river close to the weir. They use the existing canal extensively for collecting water, washing, bathing and watering stock.

  • The proposed project

The goal of the new project is to optimally exploit the full capacity of the site for the production of electrical energy, by utilizing both the height of the natural falls and the strong, perennial flow of the Senegal River at this point, partially regulated by the reservoir at Manantali.

The Felou project has been described in several reports produced during the feasibility studies, and especially in the documents Coyne & Bellier, 2001 and Coyne & Bellier, 2003.

The project consists of the construction of a new hydropower station, with a vastly increased output of 59 MW, the rehabilitation of the existing weir (without modification of elevation of the sill), the excavation of a new, enlarged canal to carry the turbine capacity of 500 m3/s , the connection of the power station with the HT network interconnected at the existing sub-station of Medina, about 10 km to the south-east of the village of Kayes, and of an access road to the site which passes by the railway siding near Medina. The railway siding, which will be used for unloading bulk construction equipment and supplies, has to be rehabilitated. This arrangement will require the re-alignment of the road past Medina.

A summary of the principal characteristics of the project is given below:


Normal reservoir (m)

Population displaced by the reservoir




(to be rehabilitated)

Max. Height on the T.N (m)



945 m

Power house

Number of turbines



Maximal power output (3 turbines in action at max. processable flow)



13,8 m
59 MW

Transmission line to sub-station Kayes

Voltage Distance

225 kV

about 3 km

Access road


7 km

Source: Coyne and Bellier, 2003, table 1.1 (page 5) and section 3.42. (page 57).

The principles which have guided the realization of this EIA are based on (not given in order of importance): i) World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies and guidelines; ii) the guidelines of the CEDEAO, the guidelines stated in the PASIE, and regulations promulgated in terms of the laws of Mali.

  • Limits of the study

In accordance with the terms of reference, the study zone extends from the weir at Felou to the village of Kayes 15 km downstream, and takes as baseline the current conditions at Felou (incorporating modifications due to the operation of Manantali dam).

However, the team decided to investigate the possible major impacts due to the actual presence of the installations, as well as the possible repercussions at a regional scale.

  • Baseline data collection and impact assessment:

The EIA-team, formed by nine consultants, gathered and reviewed relevant documents, and met in Bamako to clarify terms of reference and scope of work. Thereafter, a site visit was conducted and consultants spent up to a week in the project area gathering data and information and interviewing affected communities. At Kayes a technical workshop was held with the regional authorities and technical services and representatives of the public. The consultants also identified impacts, assessed their significance and identified principles of mitigation and compensation in team workshops held during the course of the mission.

  • Participation of the public and capacity building:

A public meeting was held in Bamako early in the mission to present the project and the study’s terms of reference to relevant authorities and other interested parties, such as major NGOs, and to hear their issues of concern. This meeting was followed by a feedback meeting with the same participants at the end of the mission, to inform them of the principal conclusions.

A technical workshop with the relevant regional authorities and institutions was held at Kayes.

  • Field visit

The team spent 7 days on the field to visit the different sites concerned by the project and meet the local populations.
The results of the study

In the broadest context

The hydroelectric project of Felou is coherent in its concept and in its finality.

It will contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gasses in the sense that the hydro-production of electricity will replace thermal power generation.

The different investigations realized by the consultants confirm the principal conclusions of the preliminary environmental evaluation done by Coyne and Bellier in their report of 2003.

  • Present impacts on the environment

The current hydropower scheme at Felou has very modest impacts on the local environment.

The flow regime of the Senegal R has been modified in a major way by the development and operation of Manantali dam upstream, and by the operating objectives agreed between the countries for the river system. Nevertheless, the aquatic ecosystems remain productive and host a diverse array of species.

The current state of the environment does not imply reconsideration of any aspect of the project.

  • Anticipated impacts of the proposed project

The main impacts are common to all hydropower schemes. Essentially they concern changes in river flow patterns in a limited part of the river, the health sector as regards water related diseases, and the local economy.

The major component of the impacts is associated with the construction of the project and the presence of the construction camp and workforce.

This project will not generate impacts which will affect the physical, biological and human environments in irreversible and unacceptable ways.

The majority of impacts identified can be mitigated and/or compensated by appropriate measures.

The initial observations of the mission scoped the detailed investigations more accurately.

  • Involuntary resettlement and compensation

Not a single inhabitant will have to be moved. The different installations (canal, new powerhouse, transformer station, railway siding, transmission line and access road) as well as the telecommunications network that will be installed do not pass through inhabited zones.

A small part of the vegetable gardens as well as some old fruiting trees belonging to inhabitants of Bangassi and Lontou, all situated within public ground (in the floodplain of the Senegal R which is public domain), will have to be destroyed to make way for the new intake structure and canal. These losses will be compensated in accordance with Malian legislation, the World Bank Operational Procedures 4.12 and the procedures described in the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). In addition measures to help with the intensification of agricultural production will ensure that the owners do not lose their livelihood.
The « rehabilitation Félou » project will, within the framework of the accompanying measures associated with the impact mitigation plan, as detailed in the environmental and social management plan (ESMP), contribute to the fight against poverty, and will reinforce the sensitization and environmental management capacity of the territorial authorities.

These actions integrate perfectly into the program (which started mid-2004) to fight poverty and build institutional capacity and the IEC of the OMVS, a program financed by GEF and UNDP.
Synthesis in relation to the Safeguard Policies of the World Bank Group
OP/PB 4.01 Environmental Evaluation

This procedure requires an Impact Study being carried out by certified experts as well as a Social and Environmental Management Plan. The results generated by this policy may change depending on the project.

Moreover, this policy recommends that all projects are assessed by contractors assisted by environmental and social consultants in order to make sure that they have followed the requested procedure.
Within the context of the present project, the Operational Policy 4.01 has generated the production of an Environmental Impact Assessment together with a Social and Environmental Management Plan. The project must now ensure that its activities remain in accordance with the Malian environmental regulations and with the Operational Policies and Bank Procedures of the World Bank regarding these aspects.
OP/BP 4.04 Natural habitats

Within the zone of the project, there are no terrestrial or aquatic natural habitats which have not been disturbed by human activities. Also, there are no ecosystems containing endogenous or protected animal or plant species which merit specific attention.

Given the low population density in this zone, natural habitats are not in an advanced stage of degradation which might necessitate restoration, and the project will have minimal effect on the existing equilibrium.

The project will not induce significant and permanent modification or degradation of critical natural habitats.

The environmental and social management plan proposes measures to avoid or ameliorate impacts, in order to minimize the potential negative effects on plant and animal resources due to the arrival of the construction workforce during the construction phase.

OP 4.11 Cultural heritage

Within the zone of influence of the project there is an internationally important historical site: the site of Medina.

The project will not contribute to the direct or indirect disappearance or degradation of this cultural heritage. On the contrary, improvements are likely to result directly or indirectly due to the project.

The access road will by-pass Medina in order to eliminate the possibility of any deleterious impacts due to traffic in Medina.

Archaeological or historic resources discovered during the construction of the bypass will fall within the ambit of Malian legislation. The Works Contract will specify that machine operators and construction personnel are to be sensitized in the identification of archaeological and historic artifacts/ remnants, and trained in the appropriate procedures to follow should any such resources be uncovered.

There are no other known cultural or religious sites vulnerable to being affected.

Concerning natural heritage, there are no exceptional features meriting protection. The view of the Felou falls will be partially affected by the presence of the new power station, but there are no other feasible alternatives. These falls, without negating their attractive character, do not have sufficient tourism importance on a regional or international scale to counterbalance the social and economic benefits generated by the project.

It will be a contract specification that the powerhouse buildings be integrated into the landscape to the greatest extent possible.
OP/BP 4.12 on involuntary resettlement

The project will not cause any loss of habitation.

None of the infrastructure that will be constructed (powerhouse, transformer yard, canal, access road, transmission line), will pass through sites which are temporally or permanently inhabited.

The works on the new canal will cause the loss of a small swamp zone, smaller than 1 ha, and of a zone of fruiting trees of a similar area.

The users of these zones (they do not own the ground), will be compensated for crop loss, not only according to Malian regulations, the WB OP 4.12 and the procedures described in the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), but also by measures to help them with agricultural intensification and by rejuvenating fruiting trees. This will be detailed in the environmental and social management plan.

These measures will permit the augmentation of productivity and thus income, and will largely compensate for losses due to the works on the new canal.

The planned route for the transmission line, over a distance of 3 km, will not pass through fertile zones and thus will not affect the incomes of people.

No vulnerable group will be affected.
OP/BP 4.10 Indigenous people

The villages which are directly affected by the project, especially during the working phase, are multicultural and multi-ethnic and are of relatively recent origin (established in the 1960s)

There are no Peuls or ethnic minorities vulnerable to be affected by the project.
OP/BP 4.36 Forests

There are no large, indigenous forests in the zone of the project.

The zone is covered by an open savannah, which is much degraded by human activities. The classified forest of Papara lies between the project area and the village of Kayes, but it is much degraded and will not be affected by the project in any way.

The project will not generally cause a degradation of vegetation cover. However, it is possible that during the works, the arrival of about 50 laborers will cause a higher demand for firewood. This supplementary need could result in more cutting of the woody species.

The impact of this demand can be minimized by specifying that the Contractor makes available, at cost price and on site, more efficient stoves to laborers, or cooking devices that use derivatives of petrol. The Contractor can also be required to aid the AMADER, responsible management of the renewable natural resources and especially biomass energy, to organize locally a rational cutting of woody species (where this is unavoidable) and a reforestation project.
OP/BP 4.37 On the safety of the dams

The present water level represents no danger of submersion of zones of human settlement in the event of the weir’s breaching, which has a height of only 2 m.

In the event of a breach, the resulting flood surge would merely be equivalent to the floods which took place seasonally before the presence of Manantali dam, which has regulated the flow of the Senegal River year round since 2001.

The only significant danger comes from the dam of Manantali 80 km upstream, which, although it is well guarded, does not have an operational emergency plan.
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