Gibe 3 Dam impacts in Kenya & Ethiopia, and company responses - June 2011
The NGOs International Rivers, Friends of Lake Turkana (based in Kenya) and Bank Track have raised concerns that the construction of the Gibe 3 Dam in Ethiopia will "ravage the fragile ecosystems of the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia and Lake Turkana in Kenya, and the 500,000 poor indigenous people who depend on them". The NGOs have criticised the roles of Industrial & Construction Bank of China (ICBC), which is financing the construction, and Dongfang Electric, which is building the dam:
China's backing for Ethiopia dam riles activists, Celia Hatton, CBS News [USA], 31 May 2011 [includes response by ICBC]
ICBC Quiet Over Controversial Dam Project, Toh Han Shih, South China Morning Post, 2 Jun 2011
Protesters March against Illegitimate Chinese Support of Gibe III Dam, Oleafrica, 20 Feb 2011
Letter to Dongfang Electric Corporation and the Gibe 3 Project, International Rivers, 27 Sep 2010
Dongfang Electric: Declined to respond
The CBS News report (above) includes the following commment from ICBC:
"The ICBC Bank has long been silent on its reasons for supporting controversial Gibe 3 Dam, until now. Activists from Kenya and International Rivers flew to Beijing to plea their case to the ICBC, but their meeting requests were ignored. So, I contacted ICBC Bank to ask about the widespread concerns regarding ecological and safety risks of building the GIBE 3 Dam. Days later, the unsigned letter from ICBC faxed to CBS News insisted, "credit and loan for all projects conforms to environmental requirements."
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited ICBC to add further comments, but it did not.