Developer Defends Ethiopian Hydro Project

Editors comment: The western neo-colonialists are hiding behind a new fake name and now they call themselves International Rivers and coalition of environmental and human rights groups. How ironic, these people have done unimaginable horror to Africa for the past four hundred years and they are acting as our saviors now. It is not new for westerners to play these tricks on Africans. They create wars between sisterly countries and sell their weapons, and then they turn around and act as mediators. Ethiopia and every other African country should furiously defend themselves from these wolfs in a sheep skin and say no to modern time neo-colonialists terrorists.

Responding to complaints about the Gibe III hydroelectric dam project in Ethiopia, Salini Costruttori, the Italian hydropower developer behind the project, issued a statement late last week arguing that the project’s critics are opposed to Africa’s development.

“The campaign against the construction of the Gibe plant in Ethiopia is merely another initiative without a technical and scientific basis,” the company said.

“We are dealing with an irresponsible campaign, based on critical statements founded on blatant factual errors and mainly due to elementary arithmetic and technical mistakes,” the statement continued. “These statements have already been assessed and denied by authoritative international organizations, such as the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.”

As we noted last week, a coalition of environmental and human rights groups has mounted a campaign to pressure financiers to cease financing for the project, which is already under way. It is slated to become Africa’s second largest hydroelectric dam.

The sides disagree over the accuracy of documents relating to the potential environmental impacts of the Gibe III project — you can see closeup footage of the project under way in the video above — on the Omo River, which flows from the south of Ethiopia into Lake Turkana in Kenya.

After complaints from Friends of Lake Turkana, one of the groups in the coalition, the African Development Bank agreed to undertake a hydrological assessment of the lake.

The report has twice been delayed, said Terri Hathaway, a spokeswoman for one International Rivers, another of the coalition member, in an e-mail message.

”The European Investment Bank has also put out a bid for an environmental impact assessment on Lake Turkana for Gibe III,” Ms. Hathaway added, “so clearly, the issue has not already been properly studied by project developers.”

Two previous environmental impact assessments conducted for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation – an initial 2006 study and an additional analysis of the downstream effects in 2008 – have been challenged by the Africa Resources Working Group, a collective of academics from Europe, the United States, and East Africa with experience in large hydro-dam and river basin development.

The working group asserted in 2009 that earlier environmental assessments were based on “faulty premises” and that they were “compromised by pervasive omissions, distortions and obfuscation.”

But Salini argued in its statement that the Gibe III project is the “fruit of the work of hundreds of engineers of worldwide renown in the sector and that thousands of technicians and workers of different nationalities are involved in the project, which has been submitted for approval by authoritative Ethiopian and international organizations."

The company also said it would “continue to defend its image from further unmotivated and defamatory attacks, which are causing serious damage not only to the company and the dignity of its technicians and workers, but also, especially, to the development of the Horn of Africa.”

Source The New Youk Times