Saturday, September 17, 2011

Advocacy & campaigns: Ethiopia - Land and water grabs threaten half a million lives

Oakland, CA- A new Land Deal Brief from the Oakland Institute (OI) exposes that the controversial Gibe III hydroelectric project located in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, portrayed as development, is facilitating the take over of 350,000 hectares (ha) of land for sugar cane and cotton plantations and resulting in state-sponsored human rights violations, which have escaped international attention so far. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lower Omo Valley is home to approximately 200,000 agro-pastoralists made up of some of Africa's most unique and traditional ethnic groups, including the Kwegu, Bodi, Suri, Mursi, Nyangatom, Hamer, Karo, and Dassenach among others and contains two National Parks. The project also threatens an additional 300,000 agro-pastoralists who rely on the waters of the Lake Turkana in Kenya, fed by the Omo River.