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Ethiopia - Gilgel Gibe III managers dismiss environmental concerns
By Groum Abate
Gibe III, Ethiopia's biggest hydropower project, has been controversial since its inception. The environmental impact assessment made by different groups and organizations indicates that the Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation's (EEPCo) project will affect lives and the environment around it, as again pointed out by the BBC report aired on Thursday making it difficult for the goverment to secure funding.
Meanwhile Azeb Asnake, project manager of Gibe III for the government power provider, told Capital that an Italian government team would come to Addis Ababa in the first weeks of April for a feasibility study on whether to contribute 250 million Euros to the project.
Gibe III construction, which is 30 per cent completed, has secured financing from the Ethiopian government, but is also looking for the approval of funding by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Gibe III is expected to generate about 300 million Euros annually after satisfying domestic power demands. On February 5, Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT), a Kenyan organisation representing indigenous groups in north western Kenya, whose livelihoods are linked to Lake Turkana, filed a formal request with the African Development Bank's (AfDB) Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (CRMU), the AfDB's internal accountability mechanism, to investigate and intervene in its plans to finance the project.
Responding to this, the project manager said that they have prepared a mitigation measure in case something happens. Apart from this, they are predicting no adverse consequence from the project. She added that more than half of the people that live in the area are dependent on food aid.
Azeb further noted that the new station is necessary as currently the corporation is only supplying power for 25 per cent of the population.
however some environmentalists insist, Ethiopia's plan to build Gibe III threatens the food security and local economies that support more than half a million people in south west Ethiopia and along the shores of Lake Turkana.
The 1,870 MW Gibe III is one of the five large hydropower production schemes currently under construction in Ethiopia, and more are being planned.
Ethiopia's neighbours, such as Djibouti, Yemen, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt, would all be in a position to purchase the excess energy.
Furthermore, the dam is a strategic project for the East African Power Pool.
EEPCo sees another benefit of the project in regulating the flow of the river, which floods annually, and thereby making it navigable all year round.
The resulting reservoir of approximately 200 sq km would also be used as a fishery, according to EEPCo.
I dont understand wha these people are planning. This is the 21st century. We know the consequences of not taking into consideration the environment in such a project.This might seam attractive for short term but we also have to think about our children and grand children. these people are so selfish and one thing i will say this dam will not last long if it is not sustainable. Please people wake up and stop beeing distructive.
comment from Afari Sifari,
I truely elated about this project! our country can emerge from chronic economic powerelessness to self-sufficience in food and other relevant things. My fear is unless it is highly witty leadership both at local and project level and at national level is employed, understandably this project has so many enemeis such as Eritrea, unpatriotic and selfish diaspora, Perhaps some societies in Kenya. However, Kenya as a state might not be completely against it. We shall see but Ethiopia can no more afford to let its soil and water flow to all countries surounding it and let its population anguish in chronic trap of hunger and poverty. Our country is water tower of the continent! It is no more concievable and convincing for us not to use our resources. We can still share with otther reasonably. Let us all support it.
In the first place there is nothing called indigenous groups in an African context, this argument is throun in the basket a long time ago by the African Commission, second the argument of “local economies that support more than half a million people in south west Ethiopia” doesn’t fit to the picture of what Ethiopia is planning to do for the many millions of people, the question to ask is are this half a million people don’t deserve to change their life by the bigger benfit will result form the dam and leave them in their subsistane economy. There is a conspiracy on the side of Kenya and the method they are using is the same method Egypt have been using for centuries against Ethiopia which is bloking funds whith silly and selfish reasoning.
Despite our political differences the
construction and completion of Gilgel Gibe
III promptly is a project we should
For how long should we watch our sisters
and mothers toil fetching and carrying
firewood on their backs like beasts of
burden damaging their health and causing
further deforstation. Richard Leakey(see
his website)is predicting or rather wishing for ‘armed conflict’if the dam is constructed. His wish is for
Africa & Ethiopia to remain ‘the dark
continent’, prestine saffari park
and archeological treasure to keep
generation of Leakeys entertained and employed."Let there be light"! And
there will be light for Ethiopia and its
neighbours with Gigel Gibe III.
I think this report is clearly a scum by Ethiopian enemies and those who are jealous about the large scale of project that will bring in good income for Ethiopia/ns and create more job opportunities etc. I understand Kenya’s concern; however, this is a clear design by Kenya to keep Ethiopia weak economically and technologically. So, Ethiopians, don’t trust any of the critics out there who are always dreaming Ethiopia to stay poor and weak (including BBC NEWS). Even BBCNEWS try to be creative by first reporting about the project and in less than a week they come up with this bias report. I hope the Ethiopian government will figure out ways and means to fully fund the project and go along with the plan. Screw those who are barking about Envermental etc, because they are mentally sick and don’t know what they are talking about, period!
Ethiopia is a country endowed with natural resources that include many rivers. These river systems give life to many neighboring countries, except Ethiopia itself. Ethiopia, a country that could have been the breadbasket of Africa, is known for its poverty and the cycle of draught and famine. A country that could cultivate millions of hectares of irrigated land, cannot feed its people, because its farming depends entirely on yearly rainfall. In addition, a country that could have been the power hub of Africa is able to provide electricity to merely 20% of its citizens.
Why did things come to this disappointing situation for Ethiopia? The answer is simple. Ethiopians never stood united to fight for their common interest. This includes their rights over rivers that originate in their country. Secondly, neighboring countries that depend on our rivers could deprive Ethiopia off her rights because they have powerful friends on their side.
Casus Belli, entertained against Ethiopia by Anwar Sadat, if Ethiopia dared to develop her rivers made impudent a Kenyan MP, to the extent that he even tried to intimidate our country by saying that Kenya should use force, in case our country develops the Omo river. Of course, this is nothing more than foolish audacity by a person who does not know the consequences of his words.
I believe that the dam will not do a major ecological damage, more than, may be a moderate decrease in the amount of water that enters lake Turcana. Moreover, people who live in the Omo basin can benefit from irrigated farming instead of cultivating the land once a year, when the floodwaters subside. They can also improve their livelihood by developing fishery in the new lake that will be formed.
We know that the largest part of lake Turcana is in Kenya, and for centuries it had been solely used by Kenyans. As much as we cannot tell them not to exploit lake Turcana, we would like inform them that it is our right to use our river for development, and we are not going to ask for anybody’s permission.
egypt caused thousands of displacements during its dams and egypt is changing deserts to grasslands by diverting the nile while thousands of ethiopians die. the west gives billions of dollars to egypt to do that. But now they want to stop ethiopia from finally building a big dam. we know we will need many more dams to be 100% self-seficient. the ethiopian government is claiming plan to export to kenya because it will shut up the kenyan government. in reality, even 25% of our electricity need will not be satisfied with this dam. especially because of the global warming and droughts causing some dams to be useless in dry periods. the solution is building atleast 100 dams in ethiopia so that even if there is drought affecting 50 dams, the other 50 dams will be functional. otherwise, we will be in the dark and with zero export revenue to come out of poverty and stop the death of millions more ethiopians.
i hate TPLF regime in addis ababa but i will always always be 100% behind any hydroelectric project in ethiopia by any government. in the future, Hydroelectricity is a sector that should be our #1 export revenue generator so we can finally build our infrastructure.
Thank you so much mr. ‘Omo’ I like your comment
You carry out feasibility study before any action commense and it’s main purpose is to see is the project is feasible/possible after considering all the factors involved. So it’s quite strange to see Ms Azeb stating the Italians are coming to do a feasibility study for what? We already know the project is already under way regardles, so why on earth is she lying to us…
The money promised by the African Development Bank was meant to be used solely for feasibility study which obviously no longer relevant as the Woyane regime disregarded all international conventions to chase the prospect of 300 millions euros at any cost to both human and environmental.
I have stated this in my comment yesterday and it is becoming clear that the main motive of this psuedo development project is money, money money.
The Kenya East African Standard has reported that the project if completed will produce 1,875 megawatt of electricity while the entire Ethiopia energy need only 400 meggawatts which further support the notion that this project’s motives is mainly financial. While the value of money is quite clear in the minds of current rules, the value of entire ethiopian communities (non-habesha of course)plus the environment seems to be worthless.
I am sure if the tribal regime had they way they will be auctioning the entire Ethiopian resource (perhaps minus habeshas) to the highest bidder.
The project feasibility study is already carried out by eminent Ethiopian and foreign environmentalists. they are predicting no adverse consequence from the project. It is quite obvious that local communities which are about half of the population( 250,000) that live in the area are dependent on food aid. So Ethiopian Government is planning to help them by investing on irrigation and they would also long term benefits of the Project.
Few years ago, in these areas there was flooding which takes away many lives of the population. hence the benefit of the project in regulating the flow of the river, which floods annually, and thereby making it navigable all year round.
Gilgel Gibe III promptly is a project which is supported by all Ethiopians population. For how long should we tolerate watching our sisters and mothers fetching and carrying firewood on their backs and damaging their health and causing further deforestation?????
I strongly believe that this project causes minor environmental problem but on a reverse saves a lot environmental causes on the other of defforsetation.
I am Ethiopian and I will continue to support this project until it is successful accomplished.
Africa should never be named all the time as dark continent though We have enough resource to electrify the continent.
my motherland for ever
If western really concern about the environment, they should start from themselves. Our world is being polluted because of their industries.
Who is causing like global warming and hurricanes all because of developed countries. It is their industries making our plant a hell. Let’s take an example; United States and china are the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
But when it comes to undeveloped countries they give a lot of attention.
We have to feed our people and we have to change our country to do that we need such a kind of huge development.
We have to think comparatively always.
God bless Ethiopian and her leader.
“Italian government team would come to Addis Ababa in the first weeks of April for a feasibility study on whether to contribute 250 million Euros to the project.” There must be some catch here, what is in it for Italy for their engineers to do this as well us provide funding? If the engineers are being paid then that is fine it is business, but what is the deal between Italy and Ethiopia that they are also funding for the construction? There is no free lunch. It is interesting to find out what is the deal, Ethiopians need to know and they need to hear about this before such construction goes through. Although the construction idea is stil good idea.
do any of our neigbhors offer Ethiopia their port. NO! not even one! so why should ethiopia suffer so kenya or any nation gets to benefit from her resource.
build the dam ethiopia.
it is good we are becoming that of the extrimist somalians who became united when they were interfered by foreingners, once in a while they were enemies to each other
I like the stand the people took against this project. Even well known critics of the government have praised the government for this project. I too support any Ethiopian government that builds hydro power (clean, reusable energy.)and irrigation systems, its a permanent structure that utilizes the natural resources of the land. Its a project truly for the people. I think we need more irrigation systems than hydro plants but this is a step in the right direction.
Lets stand together with this brilient ideas. how long we raised our hand for donation? how long we are depend on foreign advisors? why can’t use rivers like Sudan, Egypt, Kenya? Ethiopia has a lot of river and must use it in order to have self independent. People must understand developed foreign countries do not want to see our develpment because they are always seen their advantage. so we need to look at our advantage as well.
If the international community is really concerned about environmental and cultural impact around Omo River, then they should help us mitigate the problem the same way they helped Egypt displace thousands of people to a new settlement and removing archeological sites when Egypt built the high dam on the river Nile!
No need for double standard here..Like they say.."What is good for the goose should be good for gander"!!!!
Let me say that only giant leaders can dream of and realized giant projects, a “giant dam” in this case. Ethiopia can’t be governed by tribal pea brains anymore. We have gone past that point a long time ago.
This is another nonsense attempt to slowdown the project by our sworn enemies around the world. Ethiopians will not be fooled by this or any other attempts and stay silence. This is basic needs for our nation/people when it comes to electricity and agricultures that will otherwise boost our economy. This is nothing new but the work of Egypt who has failed to persuade western leaders to stop them from helping Ethiopia; instead, those western leaders are now becoming good friends to Ethiopian and the Ethiopian government. Egypt is so scared with Ethiopia’s new development, it now pays Kenyans to go after it (the Ethiopian new dams) only to create slowdown and if they can slow it down by 1-3 years in constructions, they’ll be successful in their efforts. Their goal is simple, if Ethiopia is unable to come up with them money it needs to continue with the dam project in the short term, they are hoping Ethiopia will be at war with Eritrea sooner or later and that will further caused delays of the current project. Therefore, as 95% Ethiopian diasporas showed unity on the dam’s discussion last week, let us show our continue unity and support this dam so our nation can benefit from it. $300million revenue annually is great income for Ethiopia and certainly it will be boost more jobs for more Ethiopians. And for this simple reason and more great things out it, we need to stand firmly and support the government for God sake.
OMO hat.s off, You are true ETHIOPPIAN.Sir.
Disapora hodams if you think good for your country Not TILACHA you also likely to think for your self good.
witch means you are more likely to be healthy.
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