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  • on 23.03.2010
  • at 05:49 PM
  • by Staff

Ethiopia: Online campaign against Gibe III dam 5

Ethiopian Hydroelectric Dam project – in a process of construction by an Italian company Salini Costruttori – is feared to cause fundamental devastations upon about 200,000 indigenous inhabitants of the Lower Omo River, South West Ethiopia, home of eight different tribes.

The human rights organization Survival International has launched an urgent campaign calling on the Ethiopian government to quit the dam’s construction process and urging international potential funders, including the Africa Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Italian government not to support the project.

Survival International together with the Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank, Counter Balance coalition, Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers have launched a petition to stop the dam.

Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said, ‘The Gibe III dam will be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for the tribes of the Omo valley. Their land and livelihoods will be destroyed, yet few have any idea what lies ahead.  The government has violated Ethiopia’s constitution and international law in the procurement  process. No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project.’

Construction process of the dam called ‘Gibe III’ started at the end of 2006, but is hugely believed that it will finish up Omo natural flood, which deposits fertile silt on the river banks, where tribes cultivate crops as the flooding diminishes.”Gibe III is the most destructive dam under construction in Africa. The project will condemn half a million of the region’s most vulnerable people to hunger and conflict,” says BBC News quoting Terri Hathaway, director of International Rivers‘ Africa program.

“The natural flood cycle of the Omo River is central to the downstream region’s economy and food security. The planned project would fundamentally disrupt the river’s flow and community systems which now support hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and Kenyans from several distinct indigenous peoples, increasing the likelihood of regional destabilization and resource conflict”, says the International Rivers, a non-government organization, in its written appeal to African Development Bank Group.

The Gibe dam is the largest investment project of the Ethiopian government however.

“Ethiopia plans to export a total of 900 MW to Djibouti, Sudan and Kenya and would like to export power even further Egypt, Eritrea and Yemen, as well as other eastern and southern African countries via planned grid interconnections. However, no power purchase agreements have yet been signed. Investments in an $800 million high-voltage transmission line to Kenya still need to be secured,” added the International Rivers.

The Ethiopian government still plans to lease huge hectares of tribal land in the Omo Valley to foreign companies and governments for large-scale production of crops, including bio-fuels, which will be fed by water from the dam.

Building a dam along the river is not only dangerous for Ethiopian inhabitants but also for Kenya. Actually, the river is a primary source of Kenya’s famous Lake Turkana, which supports lives of 300,000 people who pasture their cattle on its banks and fish there.

For more information visit on the campaign of Survival International

By Staff – Afronline.org

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  1. Justice says:

    The propaganda that being waged by survival international and its puppets against Ethiopia building a dam is unreasonable, and wrong, criminal, has no common sense. Although the survival international did some great job around the globe, but this camping they are waging is out of touch, and they are trying to stop a small economical progress to keep Ethiopia back in Stone Age, and due to that as it has seen often many Ethiopian will suffer by starvation. It is not a luxury for Ethiopian’s to have a basic amount of electrical power; it is a fundamental necessity to a poor country that suffered a lot. Ethiopia need electric power to grow its industries and provide 80 millions of it population with the power they need, The population of Ethiopia is growing so that the need for electrical power, It is Ethiopia’s right to do what is important to the general public, Ethiopia would not be allowed to have nuclear power plant and would not be able to afford its cost of running it, thermal power is known to pollute the environment, and Hydro power is the best environmentally friendly solution to the energy crises Ethiopia faces, There fore Ethiopia should build its dam, settle the 500 000 people who live there to good other part of the region, why not if it benefit the greater majority. Ethiopia has no natural resources, industrializing the country is the way out of decades of poverty, The world environment is messed up because the rich countries are still polluting it, the global warming problem is still being ignored by many rich countries, for those who are against Ethiopia building the dam, so go and tell your leaders to stop polluting the world, go away you hypocrites, let Ethiopia have electricity. Stop your propaganda against a poor nation, stop suppressing the development, Ethiopia knows it is good for its people, we need the electricity, and we are tired of not having enough electrical power. Our poor country needs to find ways to be economically self sufficient, we can not depend on rich countries to feed us forever, electrical energy is quite vital to industrialize a poor country and to provide ordinary people a better life.

  2. […] on River Omo stopped urgently The Standard Ethiopia launches new Omo River hydroelectric plant BBC Ethiopia: Online campaign against Gibe III dam […]

  3. True Ethiopian not European or what ever says:

    “The advantages for the whole country, the local communities around, even for our neighbouring countries – including Kenya -so much more outweigh the small problems that will be caused on an immediate basis but are not long-lasting.”

    “it [also] enables us to store water and regulate the flooding downstream in the Omo River.”

    As one Kenyan minister aptly put it, “Gilgel Gibe will brighten, not threaten” the future of the two countries.

    One last thing ,,,,
    International Rivers group suggests the following:
    “not only will some local communities within Ethiopia be displaced, but ‘their traditional way of life’ will also be taken away.” This is how some people think.
    This is apparently the real problem – the traditional way of life will be destroyed. In fact, whatever benefits the project might have, it should not be allowed to change the life styles of the people in the region. Or to put it another way perhaps, those people living so precariously on the edge should continue to do so, in order that ‘scholars’ with an interest in exotic cultures can continue to write their esoteric studies. Nothing, in fact, could be more insulting to the people in whose name this campaign is being waged. – Walta Info

    I think the campaign is a dream to keep the local people to stay under developed always and they will be a live museum for them. That is so insane.

  4. True Ethiopian not European or what ever says:

    BTW, why European guys don’t campaign against their government for the nuclear plant they are constructing which kills generation horribly. Take care of that!!!

  5. Fikre says:

    Any one who is against the electric dome progect in africa or Ethiopia is a hypocrite especially thoes north americans and europians. Let me tel you one fact, north american and european countries will be still in the dark just like Africa if they considered all the destruction they have cause on the environment and the indigenous people around the world. I am surtain that if the project is to extract oil, or any kind of minerals to benifit the western world they will do it by all means and you will not hear any thing. This electric power generetion project will not benifit them in any form or shape; may be by geting a contract for the constraction which they had got beatn by China, so now they cry; and pretend to care about the indigenous people and the environment. NO WESTERN WORLD CARE ABOUT THE INDGENOUS PEOPLE OF AFRICA, IF THEY DID AFRIC OULD NOT BE IN THESE MASE TO BEGIN WITH! And they have proven this over and over.

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