What future for peoples in South Omo & Turkana basin?

In 2012, the African Studies Centre of Oxford University brought out a well-documented and hard-hitting report on the potential impact of the Gibe III hydropower dam and associated large-scale commercial irrigation on the environment and the livelihoods of the local people in South Omo, primarily (agro)pastoralists and fishers, such as the Bodi, Mursi, Kara, Nyangatom, Hamar and Dessanach. This highly water-extractive mega-project will also have serious trans-boundary effects, as the 90% of the freshwater and accompanying nutrient inflow for Lake Turkana in the desert of northern Kenya comes from the Omo River in southern Ethiopia, where the Gibe III dam is being built. The Turkana basin is the home of the Turkana, Gabra, El Molo, Rendille and Samburu peoples. The report warns that the results of the Gibe III project could be another Aral Sea disaster. A small illustrated booklet What future for Lake Turkana? based on the report can be found under http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk/what-future-lake-turkana

See also the news article “Experts caution that irrigation may negatively affect arid lands” (http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000099296/kenya-urged-to-be-cautious-with-irrigation-projects)

Posted on 11 January 2014 in Pastoralism & Extractives, Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition