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A Cascade of Development on the Omo River:Lake Turkana at Risk from Dams and Plantations February 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Economics, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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???????????Fishermen and their dried catch, Lake Turkana

http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/omo-river-lake-turkana-at-risk-from-dams-and-plantations-8199

Omo River, Lake Turkana at Risk from Dams and Plantations

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-pottinger/ethiopia-pushes-river-bas_b_4811584.html
Dams and irrigated plantations being built in Ethiopia will bring major changes to the flow of the Lower Omo River, which in turn will harm ecosystem functions and local livelihoods all the way to the river’s terminus at Lake Turkana in Kenya. More dams are planned for the basin that would compound the damages.
Here we outline some of the basic changes that can be expected as a result of these developments, and include resources on where to get more information.

The Gibe III reservoir is expected to start filling at the beginning of the next Kiremt rainy season (approximately May 2014); filling the reservoir will take up to three years. During this time, the river’s yearly flow will drop as much as 70%.

The Gibe III will provide stable flows year-round that will enable the growth of large commercial agricultural plantations in the Lower Omo. The Kuraz sugar plantation and additional areas identified for cultivation could eventually take almost half of the Omo River inflow to Lake Turkana.
These projects will cause a decrease in river flow and the size, length, and number of floods, which will be disastrous for downstream users. This is the first year in which runoff from the Kiremt season, which is vital for flood-recession agriculture, restoration of grazing areas, and fisheries production, will be almost completely blocked.
Changes to the flooding regime will disrupt fish spawning cues and decrease productive habitat for fish in Lake Turkana and the river. Lake fish catches may decrease.
Because the Omo River contributes almost all of Lake Turkana’s inflows each year, these developments could cause a big drop in lake water levels. Lake Turkana is projected to drop by about two meters during the initial filling of the dam. If current plans to create new plantations move forward, the lake could drop from 16 to 22 meters. The average depth of the lake is just 31 meters.
Climate change could worsen the water situation in the Omo. More extreme droughts and unpredictable precipitation patterns, combined with higher temperatures (which increase evaporation), could cause further stress to a region that already experiences extreme precipitation variability. There is evidence that there will be a drying trend and warmer temperatures.
The Gibe III and associated irrigation projects will limit people’s mobility and ability to practice diverse livelihoods, which are important ways people in the region have adapted to climate variability in the past.
The primary means of livelihood for about 500,000 people will be dismantled by the Gibe III and large-scale commercial agriculture. Conflicts over scarce resources are expected to increase.
http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/omo-river-lake-turkana-at-risk-from-dams-and-plantations-8199

http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/258/human-rights-must-come-first

Africa Must Industrialize: The Time IS Now February 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Oromo, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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As the current economic growth did not result from value addition and increased manufacturing, but instead from increases in world commodity prices, it makes the region susceptible to commodity price volatility. If commodity prices fall, Africa’s impressive economic growth might grind to a halt — thus, the dire need for diversification through industrialization. Even if commodity prices stay high, natural resources are not infinite and they must be managed with sagacity.

As recommended by the 2013 Africa Progress report, it is advantageous for African governments to fully implement the Accelerated Industrial Development for Africa (AIDA) plan, signed in 2008 in Addis-Ababa. The AIDA is a comprehensive framework for achieving the industrialization of the continent. If Africa can successfully steward its natural resource wealth, investing it wisely and using some to industrialize, then whether the resources run out or not or whether commodity prices fall, Africa would be on a good economic footing.

Moreover, not only will industrialization create the environment for adding value to Africa’s natural resources, but it will also provide much needed employment at various stages of the value adding chain for Africa’s 1.1 billion people — leading to wealth creation.

Industrialization will address many development gaps in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of these gaps, as noted in a UNECA Southern Africa Office Expert Group Meeting Report, include:

Africa’s high dependence on primary products
Low value addition to commodities before exports
High infrastructure deficit
High exposure to commodity price volatility
Limited linkage of the commodities sector to the local economy
Poorly developed private sector, which is highly undercapitalized
Limited commitment to implement industrial policies
Limited investment in R&D, science, innovation and technology
Low intra-Africa trade
Slow progress towards strengthening regional integration
The Time is Now

Is Africa ready? The answer is an emphatic yes. The phenomenal growth is one reason why Africa is ready, but growth on its own is not enough. Other conditions need to be considered: Does the continent have access to enough raw materials for production? What is the proximity of these natural resources to the continent? Is there adequate land, labor, and capital? These are the traditional factors of production or inputs to the production process.

Yes, Africa has access to the raw materials necessary for production. Unlike already industrialized nations who have to import raw materials from Africa and elsewhere over long distances, Africa enjoys close proximity to these resources.

With regards to the factors of production, Africa is the world’s second largest continent and therefore is home to plenty of land — most of which is arable.

Africa is also the world’s second most populous continent. The average age of an African in Africa is under 19 years. This means Africa has enough manpower or labor to industrialize.

Capital refers to man-made products used in the production process such as buildings, machinery and tools. Africa does have a measure of this, but instead needs to do more in this area — hence the need for greater infrastructural and skills development. In fact, African policymakers as well as their counterparts in the developed world should realize that it is high time for a shift in the nature of aid to the continent — from primarily monetary aid to the type of capital aid needed for industrialization.

Finally, when Africa successfully undergoes industrial development, its huge populace will serve as a market for the outputs of its production processes; any excess supply can be exported and swapped for foreign exchange. Africa is ready and the time for it to industrialize is now.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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http://www.fairobserver.com/article/africa-must-industrialize-now