Maureen Ojunga is the newest Health enthusiast in town. She is also a gadget freak and a lover of all things WINE! Besides being a lover of life, she enjoys writing Relationships and Sex pieces and is also an Interior design junkie.

  • lee

    Let me respond to this article point by point, because there are so many absurdities and contradictions.First of all, if the people of Lake Turkana are “eking out an existence” already, doesn’t that tell you they should progress to a lifestyle that is more economically viable? On that note, I don’t understand how receiving 500 MW of abundant – and affordable – electricity from their neighbor, Ethiopia, is an “act of betrayal” and not as one of advancement for the poor.  And who cares about a UNESCO World Heritage Site?  That’s of little consolation to poor Ethiopians (and Kenyans) who desperately need electricity.
    Ikal Angelei admits “We have adapted to changes over the years and we have built a sense of resilience but now we have reached a tipping point “.  Acknowledging this resilience, it should be no stretch of the imagination that Kenyans would be able to make a transition from a way of life that leaves you at the mercy of nature to one that mitigates and protects you from the effects of it.  
    The article adds that her comment “raises the specter of local people becoming dependent on food aid or being herded into displaced camps.”  And yet it was a year ago that Turkana, as the article mentions, was the “hardest hit by the drought and famine that struck East Africa”.  So the “specter” had already become a reality.  Conflict over water and land already exists.  But if people don’t have to depend on scarce resources – as well as ocassional food aid – then this won’t be a problem.  In the West, we can have running water, electricity, modern infrastructure, sanitation, and so forth, but are we to assume that Turkanans, Ethiopians, and all Africans don’t want the same?  
    Achim Steiner, warns us about the Gibe III dam destroying “a very fragile ecosystem” and adds emphasis by saying “neither the Kenyan nor the Ethiopian authorities would like it to happen”.    If that were the case, the two countries wouldn’t have signed a power agreement; Ethiopia would immediately cease construction of the dam.  And being a true environmentalist, Achim speaks nothing of the “fragile” lives of poor Ethiopians.   He’s worried about ” the environmental assessment, the hydrological data, the models…”  and perhaps some species of fish.  Ethiopians who live in substandard conditions are more concerned with providing a better life for themselves and their future generations.  I’m sorry, but the environmental perspective does not have any moral superiority in this issue.
    And finally, the article wraps up with a very conspicuous statement from the director of Save Lake Turkana Campaign, Gideon Lepalo, “To be very honest it is only a matter of time before the Chinese release the money to complete the dam…” he says “so our next plan of action is to develop something akin to the Nile water basin whereby we would have a stake in what happens upstream,”.  
    What possible “stake” could he be speaking of?  This is a vague threat against Ethiopia’s sovereignty.  I’m really interested to know what this “next plan of action” could be.  If Gideon Lepalo is trying to use the 1929 Nile River Treaty as a point of reference, then he’s out of luck, because that was a long-antiquated colonial agreement, that was not just unfair, but obsolete.   Although, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Another environmental activist group, International Rivers has unashamedly defended Egypt’s so-called right to the Nile (and that means projects that take place in all upstream countries), invoking the 1929 agreement, in opposing Ethiopia’s other dam – the Grand Renaissance.  
    I think it is obvious, these environmentalists and human rights organizations want Africans to be perpetually poor, depending on foreign aid, from cradle to grave, never finding a way out.  They have been running a welfare system for decades.  Basically, they give Africans just enough to survive, but not enough to become economically independent.  Meanwhile, activists can feel good about themselves and how wonderful their paternalism is – as long as Africans remain poor.  And so when they see Africans weening themselves off of foreign aid, they get offended.  

    • Josiah Gaxx Isaboke

      The fact is things are changing fast and we kenyans should learn to change with the times…UNESCO wants this folks to live like they have been living for the last 500 + years so they can have stories to tell to the world and get want to give handouts to people forever when they can get out their cocoons into a civilised world that doesn´t have to depend on the ever changing environment…As a Kenyan who keeps seeing this play on and on i say ENOUGH…High five Ethiopia for thinking ahead and maybe this guys should learn to go with the times

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