Ethiopia: fourth dam on Omo river (AfricaFiles / Daily Natio Kenya)


Title:  Ethiopia: fourth dam on Omo river
Author:  Argaw Ashine, Nairobi
Category:  Eastern Region
Date:  7/9/2009
Source:  Daily Nation, Kenya
Source Website:

African Charter Article# 21: All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources for their exclusive interest, eliminating all forms of foreign economic exploitation.

Summary & Comment:  Ethiopia to build a fourth dam on the Omo River with the assistance of the Chinese. Environmentalists have raised concerns over the project. Though Kenya have agreed, there is concern that Lake Turkana in Kenya may suffer as it receives water from the River Omo. DH

Ethiopian government to build fourth dam on Omo river

Ethiopia will build the fourth hydro dam along the Omo River despite the concerns from environmentalists, the Nation has established. The Gibe 4 dam will be built along the river, which tributes significant water volumes to Kenya’s Lake Turkana. A memorandum of understanding was signed this week between Ethiopian Government and Chinese company Sino-Hydro Corporation Limited, to construct the dam within five years.

The State-owned power utility, Ethiopian Electric Power Cooperation (EEPCO) çhief, Mr Mihret Debebe, told reporters the planned project would cost 1.4 billion Euros and will generate 1,400 megawatt hydro electric power. Ethiopia hopes to get loans from China for the project. According to Mr Mihret Ethiopia, has allocated $12 billion for hydro power development within the next 10 years. A document obtained from EEPCO indicated Ethiopia was also preparing for the construction of a fifth hydro dam; Gibe V dam.

Ethiopia signed the agreement following a Kenyan delegation’s five-day visit to the country last month, to probe the environmental impact of Ethiopian Gibe III dam on Lake Turkana. The Kenyans reportedly concluded that there was no immediate danger to the lake if Ethiopia abided by the environment impact assessment rules.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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