NAIROBI, Aug 11 –Kenyan members of Parliament have warned that the country’s Lake Turkana, the world biggest saline lake, risks drying up should the Ethiopian government proceed with the proposed construction of the Gibe 3 dam.
The government was on Wednesday urged to act decisively and block the Ethiopian government from diverting the waters of River Omo during a debate on a motion to have the River Omo Delta turned into an agriculture hub in the semi-arid Turkana region in northern kenya.
They said Kenya must make it categorically clear that it would not sit and watch as Lake Turkana dried up and Parliament categorically demanded that the Ethiopian government stop the construction of the Gibe 3 hydro-electric power dam until an independent comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment was carried out and appropriate mitigation measures put in place.
The motion, raised by Emuhaya MP Wilbur Otichillo which received the unanimously support of the MPs, saw Otichillo pointing out that the construction of the dam could see the livelihood of six communities residing along Lake Turkana being put in jeopardy.
Ninety per cent of the lake’s waters originate from River Omo and construction of the dam would reduce the flow of water into lake Turkana by 70 per cent.
This would not only lead to a 10 metre drop in the lake’s level but also see an increase in the lake’s salinity, significantly affecting its biodiversity and with devastating effects on livestock grazing, irrigation and fishing.
Source — BERNAMA