“We Cannot Eat Electricity:The Fight for Lake Turkana”

The plight of downstream communities likely to be adversely affected by development projects in Ethiopia has been met with a deaf ear by those with the most power to protect them. The Kenyan and Ethiopian Governments could have considered their marginalized, before coming up with plans to build the Gibe III dam and irrigation plantations along the Omo River or making power purchase agreements from such unjust development projects.

Now that Gibe III dam is almost complete the only hope for the 300,000 Kenyans dependent on Lake Turkana is that the water is managed to ensure they maintain a semblance of their livelihood. The Goldman Environmental Prize team captured some of the sentiments expressed by the communities in the Lake Turkana Basin and leaders fighting for the rights of these people. 

Ikal Angelei, Founder and Executive Director (Friends of Lake Turkana) and 2012 Goldman Prize Winner had this to say about the ongoing projects 

“While we understand and appreciate the attractiveness for building dams for electricity as green energy, we need to recognize the impact of these ‘green developments’ on local communities; from increasing poverty because of loss of lands, to increased conflicts over less grazing and water,” Angelei said. “Many times now hydroelectric dams are used to provide water for large plantations, further exacerbating the loss of indigenous lands and increasing poverty.”

 

Read more on this link: http://goldmanprize.org/blog/we-cannot-eat-electricity-fight-lake-turkana

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