n Historia - Filling a glaring historiographical gap in Mozambique's history
Dams, Displacement and the Delusion of Development, Cahora Bassa and its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007, Allen F. Isaacman and Barbara S. Isaacman : book review

Volume 60, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



Comprising seven chapters, this work focuses on the period from the 1960s, when the Portuguese began to plan construction of the Cahora Bassa dam, to 2007, when Mozambique's post-colonial government finally gained majority ownership of the dam. In the opening chapter, the reader is introduced to the broader scholarship on the subject of dam projects, particularly in the developing world. The authors argue that by focusing on the developmental implications, the scholarship has neglected the environmental and social effects on surrounding and displaced communities. It further argues that by relying on official documents, scholars have tended to ignore the voices of local communities, whose livelihoods have oftentimes been adversely affected by these projects.

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