Ethiopia has denied Wednesday that its plan to build two dams could affect Kenyan populations near Turkana, the world”s largest desert lake.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has placed Turkana on its list of World Heritage Sites in danger due to the disruptive effect’ of an Ethiopian reservoir and sugar cane irrigation system on the northern border of this African country.
The Addis Ababa plan on the Omo River may worsen the situation; we are concerned that these projects will have implications for the local communities dependent on the lake for fishing and livelihoods,’ a UNESCO statement said.
However, Ethiopia rejects such insinuations, saying the dams, according to studies, will regulate river system flows and stabilize aquifer levels in the flood-prone region, according to a statement by the Ministry of Irrigation.
The Turkana, also known as the Jade Sea, in northwestern Kenya, gets 90 percent of its water from the Ethiopian Omo.
This landlocked nation of the so-called African horn, one of the continent’s fastest growing economies, uses its rivers to generate electricity for industry and export.