- 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.
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.
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.
"DfID and USAid, the UK and US governments’ aid departments, are the largest single donors to
Ethiopia and should act to call a halt to the project,” said Survival International.
As a result of concerns expressed by Survival International and others, DfID is reported to have sent officials to the Lower Omo to interview Mursi and Bodi villagers in January 2012.
The officials were alleged to have been told about: Arrests and beatings; the deliberate destruction of grain stores; of denied access to the Omo River; and of the widespread use of the military to intimidate people into giving up their land. There were also numerous accounts of rape.
Survival International said that "DfID took nine months to prepare a ‘report’ of this visit, which concluded that a more detailed investigation would be required to ‘substantiate’ the allegations.”
However, since then, the UK government’s development agency is alleged to have "done nothing.
link to this articl http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Study-raises-alarm-over-Ethiopia-dam-project/-/2558/1753888/-/b16yfd/-/index.html?
Fisheries Authority concerned by Ethiopian dam
Head of the Fisheries Authority Amani Ismail has warned of the threat posed to Egypt by the construction of a dam in Ethiopia.
Writing on the authority’s official website, Ismail said: "There is no longer room for doubt that Egypt is facing a real disaster in the coming months.” She said that the impending disaster is a result of the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Baha’a El-Din’s recognition of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
Ismail highlighted that the GERD will change the course of the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile. She believes that this will cause Egypt and Sudan to lose out on 18m cubic metres of water and reduce the electricity produced by the Aswan Dam by approximately 25%-30%.
Ismail accused the governments of President Mohamed Morsi and former president Hosni Mubarak of not taking action to prevent these losses.
Ismail’s criticisms come after Baha’a El-Din asserted that Egypt is committed to fair distribution of the water from the Nile.
The GERD has led to strained relations with Sudan and Egypt, as it will greatly reduce the amount of water flow and consequentially reduce their share of Nile water.
In September 2012 Egypt denied allegations of a plot to bomb the GERD. The story was printed by a Sudanese newspaper that cited whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks as a source.
Egypt has long received the largest share of the water from the Nile, as per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, which guaranteed Egypt 55.5bn cubic metres annually of the estimated total of 84bn cubic metres.
Egypt has held a number of meetings and consultations on the issue, including talks with Burundi and Sudan. In January, Egypt refused to sign the Entebbe agreement with other Nile-basin countries. Baha’a El-Din claimed that it was not suitable for downstream countries like Egypt.