World Bank harms Ethiopian, Kenyan people

This video says about itself:

Many Kenyan residents say the Gibe III dam project, located along the Omo River, will have a negative impact on their environment. VOA’s Vincent Makori reports and talks to Ikal Angelei, founder of Friends of Lake Turkana Kenya, 2012, Goldman, Environmental Prize Winner.

From Wildlife Extra:

Outrage as World Bank funds power lines linked to controversial dam

The Gibe III dam threatens the livelihoods of 200,000

August 2012. Human rights organizations, including Survival International and Human Rights Watch, have fiercely criticized a decision by the World Bank to fund power lines in Ethiopia linked to the controversial Gibe III dam.

The newly-approved project will help transport power generated by a notorious hydroelectric dam in southern Ethiopia, to Kenya’s power grid. Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam is expected to be complete by 2014, but the devastating social and environmental consequences of its construction are generating widespread opposition. The decision to help back such a controversial project violates World Bank guidelines on safeguarding indigenous peoples’ rights and involuntary resettlement.

Lower Omo Valley people livelihoods endangered

More than 200,000 indigenous people in the Lower Omo Valley stand to have their livelihoods and food security destroyed by the dam. Water levels are already unprecedently low and are devastating the self-sufficiency of pastoralist tribes such as the Bodi and Mursi and the hunter-gatherer Kwegu.

Violent land grabs

Added to this, violent land grabs, forcible resettlement and human rights abuses are rife in the Lower Omo, as the government clears land to make way for lucrative sugarcane and cotton plantations irrigated by the newly-dammed river.

Ethiopia has failed to consult any indigenous communities over the construction of Gibe III or its aggressive plantation plans, which are devastating the Lower Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The dam will also affect many tribal communities across the border near Kenya’s Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said, ‘The electrical needs of Kenya and Ethiopia should not be used to justify such flagrant human rights abuses. This is yet another ill-fated project supported by the World Bank, which will destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. These are some of the most self-sufficient communities in the Horn of Africa, and yet their human rights are being openly trampled on by an organization that ought to have learnt from history, rather than repeat the mistakes of the past.’

Survival International, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers all condemn the World Bank’s decision to fund these transmission lines.

A TURKANA lobby group has called on the government of Kenya and Ethiopia to consider more environment and people friendly development before proceeding with their grand projects: here.

‘There is a gold rush happening in Ethiopia, but it’s not a hunt for the yellow metal. It’s a quest for the green gold of fertile farmland.’ So says Richard Schiffman at Farmland Grab. ‘A nation more associated with periodic famine and acute childhood malnutrition than with agricultural bounty is leasing millions of hectares — an area the size of Belgium — to foreign companies, who want to grow and export food to places like Saudi Arabia, China, India, and Europe: here.

With support from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative, BirdLife International is working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources, is raising awareness and building capacity on the role of ecosystems in adaptation amongst government and civil society in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda: here.

8 thoughts on “World Bank harms Ethiopian, Kenyan people

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