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Gibe III Category

Gibe III Category (6)

Globally there has been an increase in concern over the environmental degradation and the need for greater environmental protection and management.

All ecosystems of the world are potentially affected by man’s activities, but wetlands are especially fragile and often neglected. Wetlands are neither well understood nor appreciated and have been increasingly under natural and human pressures in all parts of the globe and especially in Africa.

The GIBE III project is one of a series of damming projects that have been undertaken by the Ethiopian government. The Gibe III hydroelectric project on the Omo River is a public-private partnership planned as a 25year national energy master plan of Ethiopia. The planned increase in power generation, however far exceeds domestic needs with the surplus which is estimated at fifty percent being exported to the neighboring countries including Kenya which the Ethiopian Electric Power Company (EEPCo) predicts to export 500MW to.

The Omo River is a transboundary river that contributes at least 80 percent of the waters of Lake Turkana. Its terminus is at northern end of Kenya’s Lake Turkana, and most of the Omo Delta is in Kenya. A sharp reduction in the Omo’s downstream flow volume would cause a significant retreat of Lake Turkana.

An assessment of the overall impact of the proposed Gibe III project on the Lake Turkana, in Kenya must begin with the direct impact of the reduced flow into the lake, since the Omo River is the major source of water for Lake Turkana. Reduction in flow volume from reservoir filling would be the primary impact.

Based on a combination of calculations from satellite imagery, and published flow data, it is reasonable to say that the effect of the flow on the Lake Turkana can be established. Therefore, concluding that over the first five years, there would be a loss of about 53.5km3 of water from the lake, corresponding to a drop of about 7 meters. This should be considered as a conservative estimate: an alternative estimate, based on other available data is 10meters.

Using bathymetric data for Lake Turkana, it is possible to predict that the Omo delta and the northern section of the lake will desiccate, and the shorelines would recede to almost the halfway point, southward along the lake. A salinity increase in the lake is likely to severely affect the aquatic salinity of the lake which is already barely portable. Concentrations of the ions in the lake will. The effect of this is increased concentration on fish populations and on the usefulness of the lake for watering livestock and for human consumption will need to be determined. In turn the region’s livelihood systems-particularly those of the Turkana, Dassanech, Rendille., Samburu and other groups in Kenya would be significantly impacted as they are dependant upon recession cultivation, lakeside livestock grazing and watering at the lake, and fishing.

The Omo Delta and northern shoreline area have long provided habitat for a unique abundance of hippopotamus and Nile crocodile, with extraordinary numbers of water birds. This entire area would be the first part of Lake Turkana to undergo major destruction of habitat and wildlife. Consequently, the unique floral and faunal systems of Lake Turkana would likely be threatened with major destruction. The lake is now internationally recognized, including as a World Heritage Site for its abundance of wildlife, as well as unique floral and fauna species-many of which are barely described or understood, from an ecological perspective.

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15 Jun

Gibe III Dam

Written by Published in Gibe III Category

Lake Turkana communities are under threat by Gibe III Dam now under construction on Ethiopia's Omo River. Gibe III is one of three new dams planned by the Ethiopian government on Lake Turkana's primary renewal source, the Omo River. Click here to read more about the Gibe III dam.

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The Gibe hydroelectric project is one of a series of damming projects that have been undertaken by the Ethiopian government. The project is a public-private partnership planned as a 25 year national energy master plan of Ethiopia. The planned increase in power generation, however far exceeds domestic needs with the surplus which is estimated at 50 percent being exported to the neighboring countries including Kenya which the Ethiopian Electric Power Company (EEPCo) predicts to export 500MW to.

Download Gibe III Fact sheet and other documents here to obtain more background information pertaining to the Gibe III project.

The Gibe III threatens the biodiversity, livelihoods, and development of Northern Kenya, yet these potential risks have not been taken into account in the project planning by the Government of Ethiopia. The project has been opposed by local and international environmental and human rights groups and advocates. However, it was ultimately approved based on an incomplete Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that did not adequately take into account the perspectives of indigenous communities around Lake Turkana.

To find out more about the threats the Lake faces with its construction, click here

Despite the potential impacts of the dam on the lake’s ecosystem and livelihoods, Ethiopia has continued to pursue the project without an adequate environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) or proper consultation with the Lake Turkana Basin communities. FoLT is therefore working to bring attention to the impacts which Gibe III Dam will have on the Lake Turkana region and peoples and to find lasting solutions to this social injustice.

Visit our news or blog pages to read articles to learn more about our activities to oppose the Gibe III project.

 

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15 Jun

Impact of the Dam

Written by Published in Gibe III Category

An assessment of the overall impact of the proposed Gibe III project on the Turkana Basin was carried out by AWRG, which indicates more potential risk to the environment and the indigenous communities than that suggested by the Environmental Impact Assessment done by the Ethiopian Government.

The AWRG report highlights critical impacts including, but not limited to:

  • Retreat of Lake Turkana
  • A significant increase in lake salinity, and destruction of aquatic organisms
  • Destruction of Indigenous Economies
  • Transboundary Issues between Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya
  • Arising of Transboundary Issues between Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya
  • Hampering of Possible Regional Development

 

To read more about these impacts visit our documents page and download the commentary and other studies.

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15 Jun

Stop Gibe III Camapign

Written by Published in Gibe III Category

Stop Gibe 3 is a worldwide campaign against the construction of the Gibe III Dam, which threatens the ecology and lives around Lake Turkana.{yootooltip title=[Click to read more] sticky=[1]}Click to read more{/yootooltip}

FoLT activities are currently supported through the time of volunteer staff that are either from Lake Turkana or are well familiar with the issues facing the Lake.

FoLT relies on donations and support in material or time from individuals. The organization is maintained by grants from foundations, like-minded NGOs and international or national development or environment agencies, and ethical businesses.

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stopgibe3

"The rise and fall of the Omo waters is the heartbeat of the Lower Omo Valley. More than any other single factor, the river determines everyday economic practice throughout the region"

Stop Gibe 3 is a worldwide campaign against the construction of the Gibe 3 Dam.

Join thousands of concerned individuals by signing the petition (click here or click on the picture):

 

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