The World Bank‘s Board of Directors is meeting on Thursday July 12th 2012 to vote on the funding of the controversial Gibe III dam that has been widely condemned as the most destructive dam to be built in Africa. The commitment amount by the World Bank is US $684 million.
The planned massive dam project will devastate ecosystems and negatively impact the livelihoods of indigenous communities in both Ethiopia and Kenya. who depend on the Omo River and Lake Turkana for their livelihoods.
The World Bank must stop the reckless funding of the GIBE III projects imposed on these communities by force and stop doing business with Meles Zenawi’s regime, one of the most corrupt dictatorial regimes in Africa that has never been transparent or accountable to the people of Ethiopia. If the World Bank votes tomorrow to fund the GIBE III Dam, it will be directly implicated in the genocidal project.
The World Bank should do the right thing and only support sustainable and environmentally sound development in Africa. The World Bank is already playing a key role in the great land grab in Ethiopia by making capital and guarantees available for big multinational investors, providing technical assistance and support “ to improve the agricultural investment climate” in so-called recipient countries and promoting laws and policies that are corporate –oriented rather than people centered. The World Bank continues to act in total impunity by its willingness to fund an environmentally disastrous dam project.
A recent published report from the highly respected rights organization Human Rights Watch under the title: What will happen if Hunger comes?” Highlights the following: “government (Ethiopian) security forces are forcing communities to relocate from their traditional lands through violence and intimidation, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods. Government officials have carried out arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings, and other violence against residents of the Lower Omo valley who questioned or resisted the development plans.”
• Lake Turkana was recognized and protected as a World Heritage Site in 1997.
• The Lower Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to an estimated 200,000 agro-pastoralists from eight distinct indigenous peoples who depend on the Omo River’s annual flood to support river-bank cultivation and grazing lands for livestock.
• International Rivers, Friends of Lake Turkana and Human Rights Watch have expressed serious concerns about the project.
• The UN’s World Heritage Committee has called on the Ethiopian regime to “immediately halt all construction” on the project, which will impact several sites of universal cultural and ecological value.
For more information please visit the following NGO websites.
Advocates for Ethiopia