Experts have warned that this could also mean the end for Lake Turkana in Kenya – the world’s largest desert lake – and disaster for the 300,000 tribespeople living along its shores.
The dam was built by Italian engineering giant Salini Impregilo, against which Survival has filed a formal complaint that is still ongoing. Plans are now underway to build the Gibe IV and Gibe V dams downriver.
Many are now reliant on food aid, which has not been delivered regularly or in sufficient quantities. One witness told a board member of International Rivers in November: “The river does not provide for us anymore. My people are facing a big problem. The aid isn’t enough to live on.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today: “What is really being inaugurated today? Mounting hunger, insecurity and environmental destruction. For years experts urged the government and Salini to take caution – but they paid no heed. They may try to frame the ensuing famine as a natural disaster but this misery is of their own making.”