By Bisrat Berhane (on The Reporter , Ethiopia)
The report that Northern Kenya MPs have vowed to stop the construction of Gibe III hydroelectric power in Ethiopia, which was published in The Reporter under the title “Government smooth over Kenyan MPs power grumbles,” on May 21 is a clear proof that one of the frequent contributor of the newspaper, Sam Akaki, the Ugandan-born British citizen in London, was absolutely right to warn “everyone should recognise that hydro-electric power is not only a temporary measure which will sustain Ethiopia’s economic growth for a limited period. It will also vindicate the merchants of doom who are prophesising that the Third World War will be over the humble water.” (Nuclear, Solar energy: the ultimate solution to Africa’s energy crisis (14t May)
First it was the Egyptians who complained endlessly about our hydro-electric power projects in the north, and now the Kenyans are complaining from the south. When and where will the next complaint come from?
This question leaves the Ethiopian government with two choices.
One choice is take seriously Sam Akaki’s warning that because of population explosion, “Africans are struggling for the limited basic resources (land and water) as wild animals do over carcasses; thus triggering a vicious cycle of civil and [cross-boarder wars], poverty, famine, diseases, refugee exodus and more environmental degradation and poverty.”
The other choice is to follow Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), who has said that “individual MPs in Kenya have the right to comment and can complain about anything regarding the construction of Gilgel Gibe III. What matters is the position of their government.” Really?