AfDB to probe Ethiopian dam project

August 4, 2009

African Development Bank (AfDB) has accepted a call from environmental groups to investigate the alleged impact of Ethiopian huge hydro dam projects on Lake Turkana in Kenya.

AfDB’s Compliance Review and Mediation unit announced its acceptance to review Ethiopian hydro dam project ahead of a financing deal with Ethiopian government.

The investigation call was submitted by environmental groups including Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers.

The environmental groups are demanding AfDB to conduct an independent inquiry to avert possible environmental and social impacts of the hydro dam project against communities.

International Rivers Director Terri Hathaway says AfDB failure to protect hundreds of thousands of people affected by the project is scandalous.

AfDB accepted the call and set to send an investigation team to the ground. This is not the first time AfDB has had to send its probe team to the dam project.

AfDB is expected to approve $250 million for Gibe 3 project financing.

Last May, the Kenyan government sent a high level team to Ethiopia and confirmed there would be no immediate danger against Lake Turkana if Ethiopia would respect the Impact assessment recommendations.

Gibe 3 dam project is one of the five series of Ethiopian ambitious hydro plants with a capacity of generate 1870 Mega watt, now only accomplished 30 percent. Gibe 1 is already generating 184 MW and Gibe 2 with a capacity of 420 MW expected to be inaugurated next month.

Gibe 4 and 5 also under preparatory stage.

World Bank and European Investment Bank had already withdrawn their financial support to Gibe 3 dam due to a mounting pressure from Environmental groups.

Source Dailynation