Saturday, April 20, 2013

Study raises alarm over Ethiopia dam project

(Apr 20, 2013, (The East African))--A controversial Ethiopian dam project could have catastrophic consequences for more than 500,000 pastoralist farmers in Kenya and Ethiopia, according to a new report issued in April 15.

Survival International’s study of the Gibe III dam in the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia said that the huge environmental costs of the Ethiopian government project — which could lead Lake Turkana’s water levels to drop by up to 22 metres — coupled with the forced removal of people from their land far outweigh any potential benefits of the dam.

It also accuses international aid organisations such as Britain’s Department for International Development and USAid of ignoring the problem. The UK-based NGO said that three independent reports, including one by the Africa Studies Centre at Oxford University, say that the dam project risks imminent “catastrophe” for the people living in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley.

The report predicts that the consequences for Lake Turkana will be particularly severe and that much of the lake’s aquatic life will be destroyed, including fish stocks vital to the Turkana and other peoples living by the lake.

Dam could cause conflict
Survival International also fears that water shortages and the reduction in the flow of the River Omo could lead to conflict between people living along its banks. Read more from The East African » 

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