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Ethiopia

Volume 710: debated on Monday 18 May 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government following the recent visit to Turkana by Her Majesty's High Commissioner to Kenya, what assessment they have made of the potential threat to the sustainability of Lake Turkana of the building of the Gibe III hydro-electric dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia; what response they have had from the government of Ethiopia to the representations they made about the potential social and environmental impact of that project; and what discussions they have had with the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank about the implications of that project. [HL3551]

Our high commissioner in Nairobi visited the town of Turkana (with relevant Kenyan Ministers) in late April 2009 to launch a Department for International Development programme, the Hunger Safety Net Programme, which forms part of the UK's investment in Kenyan social protection. No recent assessment has been carried out by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the potential threat to the sustainability of Lake Turkana posed by the building of the Gibe III hydro-electric dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia, including during the high commissioner's visit. The FCO has made no recent representations relating to the potential social and environmental impact of the above project nor had discussions with the European Investment Bank and the Africa Development Bank about its implications.