Home | News    Friday 12 August 2011

Ethiopian officials reject UN calls to suspend controversial dam project


Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 11, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopian officials have dismissed a call by a UN’s World Heritage Committee to halt the construction of Gilgel Gibe III power plant project. The project team defended the dam on Thursday.

An El Molo boy fetching water in Lake Turkana (Reuters)

The UN body recently called on the Ethiopian government to suspend constructing the hydropower project arguing that it lacks environmental and social impact assessments and endangers one the World’s Heritage site, Kenya’s Lake Turkana.

World Heritage sites are of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity and are conserved and catalogued accordingly.

The Ethiopian government claimed that it has undertaken thorough studies and taken precautionary measures to protect Lake Turkana; insisting to continue constructing the US$1.7 billion power project expected to generate 1,870 MW of electricity up on completion.

“The impact studies made by both local and international experts establish Gilgel Gibe III dam does not endanger Lake Turkana” Project manager Azeb Asnake said on Thursday reflecting country’s unchanged stand.

She asserted that the dam instead will have a positive effect on the lake and will regulate the water flow of the OmoRiver, preventing floods and raising the water level during dry seasons.

The World Heritage Committee which monitors World Heritage Sites worldwide called on China’s development bank and other financiers “to put on hold their financial support” until the Committee reviews this issue until the next annual meeting in June 2012.

"No matter what is reported, the project will continue, and financing of the project is certain as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has provided 470 million dollars, and the remaining might be covered by Ethiopia," Misikir Negash, public relations officer for Ethiopia Electrical Power Co., told a local news paper, Fortune.

The projects is also facing protest from a number of environmental groups who argue that as well as having a devastating impacts on the Omo River and Lake Turkana, the project will also effect 500,000 indigenous people who depend on the river and lake for their livelihoods.

Recognised and protected as a World Heritage Site in 1997, Lake Turkana in Kenya and Ethiopia, is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. According to the World Heritage Committee, its unique ecosystem has made it “an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities.”

Having a total of nine recognised World Heritage sites; Ethiopia is currently among the 21 members of the World Heritage Committee.


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  • 12 August 2011 06:25, by Khartoum92

    Big to ethiopia for not listening to this west agency called the UN.The UN works for nothing but the Wests interest. If the UN doesn’t work for the wests interest why is there a security council and why does it only have 5 countries and 4 of them are western. Their resolutions are nothing but beneficial to the West.

  • 12 August 2011 08:16, by sebit

    Ethiopia Government do what you want to do for your country and for the benfit of your people first so fuck the west, un, egyption, sudan, and more

  • 12 August 2011 09:13, by modi Losombek

    To: Ethiopian’s Government,

    Please do what can benefits your people and don’t listen to any ideas or UN’s pressure for the sack/good of your people and country.

    You must reject what the UN is about. the UN is just follow Egypt mostly and with Sudan’s North. These two countries are the countries which do accept good thing of others always, and therefore please keep on your work.


  • 12 August 2011 11:44, by hassan

    Dear All,

    It is a committee for world Heritage who urged for suspension of the dam to be built and not the UN supreme organization.

    By the way , the westerns use some mercenary organizations who work day and night for money and self-employment , never caring or concerned for local citizens well being - groups like River International ; Survival International calling them " Activists" "Environmentalists" - their agenda are well knows :
    (a) to derail progress of third word countries so they remain to subdue to the will of the west.
    (b) to make third world countries people remain forever in backward stone-age stage , so help for studies as a museum
    (c) to pass their summer vaccination in Africa for safari and seeing the peoples and wild animals at nature as existed million years ago.
    (d) to break the nationhood of third world countries.

    Ethiopia peoples and the government appear to be very understanding of this and are commended !! Well done. Keep it !

    Hassan/ Khartoum

    • 12 August 2011 22:20, by zella

      As an African and an Ethiopian I am honered to hear from all of you who sympathize with us and give full support in the recognition of the right of Africans in this case Ethiopia to build this grand project.
      It shows we as Africans must maintain the relationship between our people in which whatever affect one correspondingly affects the other.Attack on one is attack on all of us.
      Hassan from Khartoum rightly state it,the call from this UN commitee to halt the project which is half way completed is a conspiracy against Africa and its people and should be denounce by all Africans.
      What this groups doing is an attack on our sovereignty and interference in our development,therefore we strongly oppose to the UN committee demanding to halt this project.

  • 12 August 2011 13:29, by seyoum777

    The Western imperialism which has many faces and manifestations has always worked hard to keep the continent of Africa in darkness. The UN agencies, IMF, World Bank, CPJ, Human Right watch, Amnesty International, Survivable Intentional, and Aid agencies are all conspiring to perpetuate conflict, and backwardness in Africa.

    The government of Ethiopia should not listen to the outcry of these organizations.

  • 13 August 2011 03:27, by LOVE A -FREE-ka

    I love the ppl of Sudan. I am an Ethiopian and I have this handsome Nubian. huhuhu. Beautiful Ethiopian woman + Handsome and sweet Sudanese man = live life happily ever....Inaddition, he is few years older than me and age is beauty for a man so I like that. hulala... I am happy and I wish you all my African brothers and sisters to be as happy as I am.... I don’t know what my dad will say if he hears of this though. Me Christian and him Muslim!!! Well it is secrete for now so sheesh

  • 13 August 2011 17:10, by Cadaai ?o?

    This is message from Dinka Twic East Civil Group. We the Dinka Twic East are not involved in that apology by Vice President Riek Machar. The apology he has done was for Dinka Bor only. Also his apology was a setup by Dinka Bor people who trying to take credits or to discard Dinka Twic East true identity.
    We the Dinka Twic East people, we are still waiting our true apology from Dr. Riek Machar, and it could be done in Panyagor, the headquarter of Twic East County. That’s where the incident of the 1991 occurred. For those people who done know the name of that incident, please it is calls "Southeastern Dinka Massacre or in actuality when it comes to really title based on impacted people. It is calls Dinka Twic East Massacre. Dinka Twic East tribe is different from Dinka Bor. They have different characters and dialects as well. It is true even God (Nhialic) knows it.

    Please be aware that, this website always omits some information inside any message the think is not in there interests. Also the website is owned by Dinka Bor people and Dinka Twic East. That’s why they always ignore or discards our true claims.

    N/B: Dr. John Garang se Mabior is Dinka Twic East. During the movement he was using Dinka Bor for Two reasons:

    (a) Dinka Bor was the one tribe in that region Jonglei that was documented as legitimate tribe there when Garang took over SPLM/A. It was done by intellectuals and scholars who were often driven by these words: nepotism (brotherhood & sisterhood), selfish, ignorant, pride of individual backgrounds and ignorant of other tribes as dominant signs, etc.

    Dinka Twic East is not that small, and also Dinka Bor should be proud about 2009 census as they are more than Dinka Twic East in population.

    We the Dinka Twic East people need government of South Sudan to checks Bor County population for its being divide into two counties.

    Dinka Twic East has three sections: Lith, Ajuong & Pakeer, and Dinka Bor has two sections: Athooc & Gok.

    Truth and History will not be steal from Dinka Twic East.

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