Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development : Cahora Bassa and its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007 Paperback By Allen F. Isaacman & Barbara S. Isaacman
UKZN Press, 2013
Soft Cover, 291 pages
Cahora Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River, built in the early 1970s during the final years of Portuguese rule, was the last major infrastructure project constructed in Africa during the turbulent era of decolonization. Engineers and hydrologists praised the dam for its technical complexity and the skills required to construct what was then the world's fifth-largest mega-dam. Portuguese colonial officials cited benefits they expected from the dam, but reality proved a different story. This in-depth study of the region examines the dominant developmentalist narrative that has surrounded the dam, chronicles the continual violence that has accompanied its existence, and gives voice to previously unheard narratives of forced labour, displacement, and historical and contemporary life in the dam's shadow.