Gibe III detractors are the new priests of darkness
By A. W. SHUMAY
March. 15 2011
Planet Earth, when watched by night from outer space what one notices is that most of the African continent remains in pitched darkness, apart from few exceptions, like the Egyptian Nile Valley. Europe, North and South Americas and most of Asia glow with artificial light as a result of electrification. East and Central Africa, where Ethiopia is located is the least lighted part of the globe.
The Gibe III detractors know perfectly well that this is an absolute truth and yet they remain determined to stop this important project from becoming a reality. They use every trick under their sleeve by spinning the international media in their attempt to convince the international financial institutions from funding this important project under the pretext of environmental concerns.
These futile new lords of darkness, such as International Rivers, the BBC ís front man the chief priest of tribal anthropology Dr. T. Leakey and etal, claim to stand for the right of endangered African tribal species from extinction as a result of economic development and human contact.
Although they refrain from saying it openly their main objectives are shrewd and multifaceted. Firstly, they want to preserve the tribal life styles of the Omotic and Turkana peoples intact and free from the threat of economic development. Secondly, they want to keep the whole of the Omo valley and Lake Turkana area designated as a reservation area for the local tribes only to be accessed by white tourists and photographers taking pictures of half naked African tribes for the consumption of their weird TV programmes under the pretext of anthropological studies. In other wards they want to keep these Ethiopian tribes completely shielded from civilization and economic development.
Thirdly and most shrewdly, they want to augment and sabotage the Ethiopian economic development from becoming a reality. To them the interest of millions of Ethiopians including that of the Omotic tribes is less important in their effort to keep them as human museum artefacts for their white cousins.
It is very important, therefore, to expose and analyse the true motives of these so called international rights groups who are hell bent to stifle the proposed electrification process of so many urban and rural communities of the region. It is right for one to ask what hidden motives do they harbour for them to gang up in conspiring so viciously against the fundamental interest of the Ethiopian people in a well coordinated manner?
Obviously, deep down they are well aware and feel threatened by the potential impact that Gibe III will play in transforming the Ethiopian economy significantly in a short time. They know very well that once Gibe III hydro dam becomes a reality it will have an important role to play in altering the parameters of human and economic activities of the region. They worry that it will transformed the environmental area beyond recognition instantly changing it from an area of backwardness to an area of modernity and development.
Apart from power generation Gibe III Dam will create 220 sq.kms of man made lake stretching 150km back right up to the confluence of the Gojeb and Gibe rivers. Along the way it will fill the tributaries and creeks of the Omo River with fresh water making them ideal for transport and fish farming. Further south the meandering Omo River Basin will also become centre for large agro industries such as sugar and biomass refineries.
First and foremost, Gibe III will have a generating capacity of nearly 2000 mega watts of clean electrical energy which is an output equivalent of two medium sized nuclear power generating plants. This amount of additional electrical energy will enable Ethiopia to erect heavy industrial plants such as steel mills and iron smelting factories enabling it to become an industrial giant of East Africa.
Frankly speaking, as far as Ethiopia is concerned, detractors or no detractors, the successful completion of Gibe III is a must and is a matter of life and death. Also, the successful completion of Gibe III will allow Ethiopia the planned Five Year Growth and Transformation Programme (GTP), to be attainable. Together with the other clean hydro power plants on the pipe line, Gibe III will soon be contributing the lionís share to the growth and transformation of the Ethiopian economy.