Giant Ethiopian dam to make 200,000 go hungry: NGO – By Barry Malone (Reuters)

March 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

More than 200,000 Ethiopians who rely on fishing and farming could become reliant on aid to survive if the government goes ahead with building Africa’s biggest hydropower dam, an advocacy group said. (more…)

More than 200,000 Ethiopians who rely on fishing and farming could become reliant on aid to survive if the government goes ahead with building Africa’s biggest hydropower dam, an advocacy group said.

Ethiopia is building the 1.4 billion euro dam as part of a campaign to beat power shortages and become a power exporter.

The dam – Gibe III — is expected to generate 1,800MW, almost doubling Ethiopia’s current capacity of just under 2,000MW.

Tribal rights group Survival International says the dam will cause displacement and upset fishing and farming. Among tribes that will be affected are the Kwegu and the Hamar.

“These tribes are self-sufficient but this dam will ruin their economies,” a Survival International representative, who did not wish to be named, said.

“It will end the annual flooding some rely on to make the land they farm fertile, and for tribes who rely on fishing, it will deplete stocks. They will need aid.”

Ethiopia is negotiating funding for the dam, which began construction in 2006, with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Italian government

“No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project,” Survival International director, Stephen Corry, said in a statement.

The country’s utility, EEPCo, was not immediately available to comment. The government has said that people affected by hydropower dams will be compensated or relocated.

The country is building five more hydropower dams, some funded by the World Bank. Hydropower fuels about 90 percent of its energy, EEPCo says.

(Reporting by Barry Malone; Editing by Giles Elgood)

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    Who are these groups working for ?Eygypt,Eritrea… Do they realy care about about the people? I can’t belive this kind of crub is being cerculated by Ethiopians.The development of Ethiopia will move on regardless.

  2. Wow!!
    | #2

    I hate this stupid gov’t, but in this case the above article has no place. They would rather see Ethiopians starved and beg for ever. The benefit is huge for our country as long as the corrupt gov’t focus only on the development side. It is year 2010, please find another country to beg for your NGOs. It is time find another country for some evil NGOs.

  3. Thomas
    | #3

    I am not a supporter of this government,but these guys are crying in the
    name of 200,000 people to do their lobbying job, what about our 13 million in starvation every year, we have to support for the project like this regardless of our poletical difference.

  4. atuba dolla
    | #4

    Building dams for a good use is good.The problem is,Ethiopians never voted for Zinawi and his supprssive regime and the public will never vote for the dicatorial regime;this is why Zinawi and his elete can not be trusted enough to take any sort of projects.

    If Zinawi was voted and elected by the people of Ethiopia,then Ethiopians would do their best any small or big project to come trutition.

    yes, Ethiopia has a lot to offer and Ethiopians have many rivers to build damos on and utilize them efficiently and effectively.When Ethiopia is free,Ethiopians will definitely build many dams more than what zinawi has built.

  5. Menilik
    | #5

    Hmm, compare to the millions who are starving, this is a sand in a bucket. May be this will feed millions. Why the cry now, Leaky and his company are neocolonialist of Kenya, he better do some meaningful works, like eliminating segregation of the black Kenyans from the white and asian, for this he has to examine all the hotels where blacks are not allowed and close them.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    the only benafactor of this dam will be the woyenne run companies specially EFFORT that have invested tens of billions in China. Watch
    my word it will be exposed in the future.Projects like this should be carefully studied that once done it cannot be changed. Also the country
    should have demanded billions for alternative energy that is cheaper and
    free. The 2.1 billion could have easily supply at least over 20 million
    people with free energy.look at what DR.Mahatir have done in Bangadlash
    or Dr.Wangari Matei and her Greenbelt.org is doing to change life in Kenya.We should seek out every possible means before embarking into massive project for that i do think they do it for the profit being the only major sub-contractor.it is not feasable to export energy while the world is changing to electric cars and it might reduce oil consumption in the future.It would have been wise to seek advice from hunderedsof thousends of educated Ethiopians around the world.IT was very sad to see what happened at GIBBE2 and its future.

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