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Ethiopia's Gibe III - A dam too far?

Tigrai Online
Dec. 20 2011

Ethiopian fisherman Michael - Tigrai Online

Lake Turkana, in a empty limit segment of Ethiopia and Kenya, is home to a Dasanech and Turkana tribes. Michael, a Dasanech tribesman living in a tiny encampment in northern Kenya, has been a fisherman for 26 years and, like his associate tribesmen, he entirely depends on a tainted lake for his livelihood.

The semi-nomadic dried tribes mostly quarrel bloody battles over a region’s wanting H2O and pasture that they use for fishing and cattle grazing. But a construction of an desirous cascade of dams along Ethiopia’s Omo stream might poise a critical hazard to a provision of nomads in a region, explains Michael.

“I was repelled when we listened a news about Ethiopia’s dam on a radio,” he says while sitting on his bed in his dusky dome-shaped hovel during a shores of Turkana. “What came to mind really fast was: what about a lake we am fishing in? What about my children?”

Gibe III is a dual billion dollar dam funded by the Ethiopian supervision and one of Africa’s largest hydropower dams in a Omo River that flows into Lake Turkana. It provides 90 percent of a region’s H2O and is pronounced to have scarcely doubled a energy ability of East African nations.

According to a Ethiopian government, the dam will rise a segment and finish a “backward lifestyle”, transforming a southern forest into rarely prolific cultivated plantation land, irrigated by a dam’s regulated outflow. It is hoped that domestic and unfamiliar investors will grow sugarine shaft and other money crops on a large-scale in a south, an area famous for a countless inland tribes.

But Michael is some-more cautious. “The H2O will be too salty, so there will be no fish vital in a lake,” he says. “And all a animals we have, all a cattle, will die. If there is no water, there will be no grass.”

He also fears a dam will lead to serve carnage among tribes, as a Dasanech and Turkana will be forced to pierce into adjacent tribes’ domain in hunt of H2O and pasture.

Drying up
While Ethiopia denies that a dam will revoke H2O levels, a organisation of scholars from a United States, Europe and East Africa shares Michael’s concerns.

In a 2009 investigate a Africa Resources Working Group estimated that H2O levels could dump 10 to twelve meters drying adult fish bonds and beverage water. The United Nations subsequently called on Ethiopia to stop construction of a dam, fearing it would destroy Lake Turkana, listed as a UN universe heritage.

But Ethiopia says there is “no way” that a plan will be stopped, claiming a possess studies uncover that Lake Turkana’s H2O levels would boost and a dam’s regulated upsurge would put an finish to drought and floods.

Like other members of a Dasanech, Michael fears that Ethiopia’s preference to pierce brazen with a plan but informing a people will have a disastrous impact: “If we do something but informing people, we know it will have an effect,” he says. “It would be improved if we all lay together and negotiate about what they are going to do for the people.”

Source, Radio Netherlands

Comment by Tariku: You don't understand these people. They want Michael the fisherman, all of his relatives, his children and grand children to be a fishermen for eternity. They want the Mursi women, who live by the Omo valley to mutilate their lips and put plate on it, so it would amuse Europeans and Americans. They need the tribes, who they call "Pre historic" to be displayed on the cover of National Geographic Explorer magazine for their enjoyment and entertainment. They obviously can't do that, if the area is developed. If Michael the fisherman's life is changed, and if he is educated and does something else better for his life, he will become equal with them. See? That's what they are afraid of. Their tourist attraction and study subjects will disappear. That's what their concern is all about. They also want us to beg them for food all the time, so they could feel better about themselves for being “charitable for poor savages, who have nothing to eat”. If we develop our resources and become self sufficient, we'll take way that from them. That is the reason for all this brouhaha. They don't give a flying freak about the lives that could get better, and the mouths that could be fed, because of this dam. The good thing is we're waken up now. We have very little time and patience to put up with their negativity. Ato Tariku Tigrai Online agrees with you 100%.