Sustainable Hydropower Network

SHAASAN – Sustainable Hydropower for Africa, Asia and South America Network


Fresh waters are the most threatened ecosystems on earth. African, Asian, and South American Rivers, e.g. the Congo, Mekong and Amazon, have immense abundance and diversity of fish on which millions of low-income people depend for food and their livelihoods. Hydropower generates renewable energy and enhances human quality of life; but fish are impacted by dams because: (1) they are killed by huge and abrupt pressure changes when they move through turbines; (2) their movement to critical habitat are blocked; and (3) the creation of reservoirs leads to the loss of habitats and changes in the natural flow regime. Resulting declines in fish stocks severely impact the welfare of the low-income fishing communities.

There is immense regional variation in research capability and resources needed to improve the sustainability of hydropower. Historic efforts to mitigate the impact of hydropower focused on wealthier northern temperate countries, but these are not always transferable to developing nations. SHAASAN will grow representation from Africa, Asia and South America and act as the vehicle to transfer knowledge from developing nations and develop research capability needed to enhance the sustainability of hydropower.

Aims and objectives:

The SHAASAN aims to improve the sustainability of hydropower by protecting the fisheries on which low-income fishing communities in developing nations depend for food security. This will advance environmental impact mitigation technology and develop more sustainable operations and planning practices. We will disseminate outputs and build research capability to benefit other DAC nations, principally the Least Developed and Lower Middle Income Countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Join us:

We have obtained funding from the UK Global Challenge Research Fund to initiate a self-sustaining network. This will provide resources needed to establish an on-line presence in 2021 and fund two workshops, one in South America and a second in Asia, in 2022. Working as a team, we are looking for network participants representing a range of stakeholder to join our network and search for funding opportunities within their regions to enable the network to grow. Funding will be sought to host a third workshop in Africa in 2023 to extend representation to other Asian and African nations. If you are interested in joining the network and sponsoring future activities, please complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.


To view this information in Portuguese, click here.

To view this information in Spanish, click here.

To view this information in Vietnamese, click here.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SHAASAN will be introduced through a series of online webinars in 2021. The first (14 July) will cover sustainable hydropower within a South American context and will be followed by ones focusing on the Asian (14 September) and African (14 December) context. Follow this link for more information on the webinars.


Network participants:

Hector Vera-Alcaraz (Leader) – Paraguay

Paul Kemp (Co-leader) – UK

Andrew Vowles (Administration) – UK

Management team:

Paul Van Damme – Bolivia

An Vi Vu – Viet Nam

Peng Bun Ngor – Cambodia

Paulo Pompeu – Brazil

Luz Jimenez-Segura – Colombia

Luiz Silva – Switzerland / Brazil

Oscar Link – Chile

Evelyn Habit – Chile

Andrey Castro – Brazil

Raquel Fontes – Brazil

Zhu Di – China

Frank Masese – Kenya

Amare Mezgebu – Ethiopia


For more information or to join the SHAASAN, please complete the below contact form:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message