Dam If You Do, Dam If You Don’t




Gibe III dam takes hydroelectric power to a stratosphere level. A decade under construction and few months in to producing energy, it was officially inaugurated in the presence of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalign, Sileshi Bekele (PhD), the Minister of Water, Irrigation & Electricity and the Ethiopian Electric Power CEO and Gibe III project coordinator, Azeb Asnake (Eng.) and other dignitaries last week. Azeb (above) at the ceremony reflected on a number of the positive impacts of the project, including the construction of schools, roads and hospitals to the area.

As Ethiopia moves forward with the completion of the second phase of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP) and invests heavily in mega projects across the country, what has been noted by respected international organisation such as UNESCO and Friends of Lake Turkana are the potential negative environmental complexion of these dams. While Gibe III is projected to produce needed energy to the country, there are other mega projects in the horizon, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Massive electric power is coming to the country and dividends are expected to be produced to the local economy. These dams are expected to provide needed electric power, not just to Ethiopia but to neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Sudan and bring much needed foreign currencies to the local economy. The cost to the environment and local residents remain an open debate.



Published on Dec 27,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 869]


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