Image: © Alison M. Jones for www.nowater-nolife.org
Stop Gibe 3
Discovery’s Planet Green highlights NWNL’s coverage of Gibe dams on the Omo River Basin:
Six Green Campaigns That Really Caught Our Attention
by Rachel Cernansky, July 6, 2010.
The Gibe 3 Dam in Ethiopia is $1.4 billion away from completion. If finished, it will be, at 240 meters high, the largest dam in Africa and will feed a 1,800 MW hydroelectric power station—much more than the entire country used all last year. But plans for the dam are criticized for having done little to no legitimate environmental impact assessment, and activists say the finished dam would threaten food security, increase risk of conflict in the region as well as exacerbate health problems, encourage mosquito breeding—and malaria—and prevent people in the Lower Omo Valley from being able to plant their crops and graze their animals on the river’s flood plains. It would also disrupt the natural flow and ecology of the river, rendering the water of Lake Turkana undrinkable.
So International Rivers, Survival International, Friends of Lake Turkana and several other organizations have organized the Stop Gibe 3 petition, asking the world to help stop construction of the dam and prevent the damage it would inflict on communities that depend on the health of an already fragile ecosystem. Groups like No Water No Life are working to raise awareness about watershed degradation and to educate the public about sustainable management of water resources.