Biodiversity studies for Kakono Hydropower

Client Name
French Development Agency
  • Ecology
  • Environmental & social impact assessment


SLR has been contracted by the French Development Agency to undertake a gap analysis and supplementary ecology studies for a proposed hydropower project on the Kagera River in Tanzania, the largest inflowing river to Lake Victoria. The project proponent is Tanzania’s electricity supply company, TANESCO.


The work involved a gap analysis and site reconnaissance to assess the location and potential risks; followed by supplementary ecology studies focussed on fish and macroinvertebrates.

The project highlighted the challenges of conducting fieldwork on a large fast flowing river system in a remote environment where insufficient data exists on species distribution and ecological requirements, including on fish migration. It posed interesting challenges for interpreting available data against specific thresholds for critical habitat and presenting it in such a way that can inform balanced decision making and investment decisions.


The additional ecology data obtained in combination with previous data for the river system was used to compile a critical habitat assessment to inform lender decision-making.

Project Contributions

  • Complete a gap analysis of an existing ESIA for a proposed hydropower project on the Kagera River, in Tanzania and identify requirements to meet international lender standards.
  • Undertake supplementary aquatic and terrestrial ecology studies focussed on improving the baseline data and verify the project impacts on biodiversity in alignment with IFC requirements.
  • Conduct a critical habitat assessment to determine if the Project area could trigger critical habitat under IFC thresholds.