World Bank to Fund Ethiopian Destructive Dam through the Backdoor?

May 28, 2012 in Chile the Example to fight desertification, Dams and desertification, Delay of Nile Treaty, Mega Dams in China, Turkanas against damming

By Peter Bosshard

 

Workers removing water from the Gilgel Gibe III Dam.

Some projects are so destructive that no reputable actors want to get involved with them. Think of the oil wells in Sudan’s conflict zones, China’s Three Gorges Dam, and the gas pipelines in Burma. If the price is right, however, some will still be tempted to do business on such projects through the back door. The World Bank is currently taking such an approach with a big credit for Ethiopia’s power sector.

 

The Gibe III Dam, now under construction in Southwest Ethiopia, will devastate ecosystems that support 500,000 indigenous people in the Lower Omo Valley and around Kenya’s Lake Turkana. The UN’s World Heritage Committee called on the Ethiopian government to “immediately halt all construction” on the project, which will impact several sites of universal cultural and ecological value. In August 2011, the Kenyan parliament passed a resolution asking for the suspension of dam construction pending further studies.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s highest recipients of foreign aid, and in spite of a poor record on human rights, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is one of the darlings of the international community. The World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank all considered funding for the Gibe III Dam in 2009/10.

In the end, none of them got involved in a project that caused an international outcry and clearly violated their social and environmental safeguard policies.

The World Bank would like to turn Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo into regional hydropower “batteries” that can electrify large parts of Africa. Doing so would require the construction of large dam cascades and extensive transmission networks in Eastern and Central Africa. The record of dam building in Ethiopia and the Congo is such that the World Bank is not keen to get involved with these messy projects directly. Instead it plans to pour large amounts of foreign aid into the transmission lines on which the power projects depend.

On June 21, the World Bank is expected to submit to its Board of Directors a credit of $684 million for a 1,000-kilometer-long transmission line from Ethiopia to Kenya.

Strong evidence links this transmission line to the Gibe III Dam. The Resettlement Action Plan, an official project document, states that the line “is planned to provide reliable power supply to Kenya by taking it from Ethiopia’s Gilgel Gibe hydropower scheme.” In a letter to Friends of Lake Turkana, an environmental group, the Bank confirmed in March 2010 that the Ethiopian government had “asked the World Bank to consider providing funding support to the Gibe III hydropower project and the associated transmission lines.”

Now that the impacts of the Gibe III Dam have become so publicly apparent, the Bank no longer wants to be associated with it. In a meeting last month with environmental organizations, Bank managers claimed that the transmission line would not be used to export electricity from the mega-dam on the Omo River. The Bank even edited the Resettlement Action Plan and replaced the reference to Gibe by “from Ethiopia’s power grid” in its version of the document.

Transmission lines and power projects depend on each other. If transmission lines become a focus of the World Bank’s development aid for Africa, the institution needs to clarify where the electricity for these projects will come from. It needs to prove that the power for these systems can be generated without destroying critical ecosystems and violating human rights, in compliance with the Bank’s own standards.

Organizations such as Christian Aid and International Rivers have documented that Africa’s power needs can be addressed without building destructive dams in Ethiopia and the Congo.

On May 21, a coalition of environmental organizations from Kenya, the US and Europe raised these concerns with the World Bank. In a letter to Bank President Robert Zoellick, they argued that “the Bank should not fund a transmission line that would source its power from the Gibe III Dam or from any other project that massively violates its safeguard policies.” The World Bank is supposed to reduce poverty, not maximize profits.

If a project is so destructive that it cannot be funded directly, the Bank should not support it through the back door of a transmission line.

Egyptians will need 50% more water of the Nile in 4 decades while the river will dry under 2 decades due wanton damming

May 8, 2012 in Egypt & her 50% extra Water

The Egyptian experts are projecting when their population reaches 150 they would need 50% more waters than today. But today undue damming in the highland plateau of Ethiopia will dry the river within half time they are projecting. Just look the two images at the source of the Nile due to undue damming and irrigation progressively. In the coming two years after the end of the great death dam it will completely dry in the summer time…

How long it will take to fill up the Ethiopian Dictators’ millennium death dam and revive to reach to Egypt. Following the foot step of the Ethiopian mad man the new south Sudan, Uganda, Congo and Rwanda are planning to follow suit his example of developmental destructive water power.

Though Egypt is currently entitled to 55 bcm of the Nile’s total annual flow of around 84 bmc under a treaty with the eight other countries which share the river basin, once damming process reach its apex by the end of 2013 there will be no water to discuss. This is mainly Ethiopia will use almost 70 % of the 87% of the Nile water she is contributing to the great Nile. And all will be used to the commercial farm sold for the land grabbers of India and Saudi Arabia in the water intensive rice farm land in Gambella and Benishengule regions.  “Should the Nile’s total flow remain constant, Egypt will eventually need some 92 per cent of the 6,695 kilometer-long river’s waters, according to NPI’s estimate.”  Though according to the same projective studies  each Egyptian will have a Nile “stake” of 400 cubic meters in the river’s waters — well below the global water poverty index of 1,000 cubic meters if it continue  to flow at the present rate which impossible. So the Nile is going to the road of destruction not only for Egypt the main stake holder but for all the riparian.

Egypt’s water resources are limited to the Nile River, deep ground water in the Delta, the Western Deserts and Sinai, sporadic rainfall and flash floods while the highland Ethiopia is a water tower with over 13 rivers and lakes.

Agriculture accounts for 85 per cent of water demand, while domestic and industrial use makes up 8 and 6 per cent respectively. The remaining one per cent is used in navigation and hydro-power.

Since 2009 the Ethiopian regime has planned to build over 500 dams and barges all over the country. The worst comes when the Ethiopian dictators started building in 2012 a   mega dam on the Nile despite a long-running row with Egypt. This death dam will stop the Nile’s yearly floods to Egypt by breaking the natural cycle of survival which existed from time immemorial, thus stopping the natural flow of the water breaking the cycle existed long before the making of the Pyramids by creating cataracts.

The one sided approach of the Ethiopian regime not only increase the l salinity like Aswan but will stop its natural flow.

Prof. Muse Tegegne

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