Monday, June 8, 2009

Kenyan team holds talks on Ethiopia dam

By ARGAW ASHINE, NATION Correspondent, ADDIS ABABA - Thursday, June 4 2009

A Kenyan delegation has held discussions with their Ethiopian counterparts on the controversial Gibe III dam project.

Experts have expressed concern over the environmental impact of the Ethiopian project on River Omo, the main source of water for Lake Turkana in Kenya.

The 14-member Kenyan team was led by the director of Water Resources, Mr John R Nyaoro. Ethiopian minister for Water Resources Asfaw Dingamo told the Kenyan delegation not to let outsiders dictate the direction of the relations between the two countries.

Building confidence

“We do not need outsiders to remind us to be responsible custodians of our environment and our natural resources,” Mr Asfaw said. Mr Asfaw reaffirmed that Ethiopia was ready to listen to any suggestions from Kenya and other development stakeholders on the dam project.

Mr Nyaoro said in Addis Ababa his team would investigate the situation on the ground with a view to building confidence and trust between the two countries.

“We want to ensure the sustainability of the project, which will benefit both countries,’’ he said. The Gibe III project is financed by the Ethiopian Government with a small contribution from Italian Government.