Omo river, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is building one of the most powerful hydroelectric dams in Africa: the Gibbe 3. According to the
government, it will double the country’s energy capacity. The water from dam will be stocked in a giant
reservoir which will be used to irrigate to plantations owned by foreign companies (Saudis, Malaysians,
Indians…) who all rent land at the paltry cost of one euro per hectare a year, and who export the crops. The
dam will also change the lives of all of the 200000 inhabitants, considered as subhuman by the capitol, and
who all totally depend on the river Omo.
The government plans to move them all to new villages, where they are promised access to heath and
education. These tribes, who’ve lived forever from agriculture and livestock, are seeing their ecosystem
totally thrown into disarray. The UN has requested that all construction be ceased, but nothing is being
done. The coup de grâce occurred on the 16th of July: the world bank and other institutions accepted to
finance an electricity network linked to the dam which will hook up the Kenyan energy grid to the power
generated by the Ethiopian dam.
© Eric Lafforgue