Ethiopia rebuffs UN recommendation to halt dam

AP News
Posted: Aug 11, 2011 10:22 AM

Ethiopian officials say they will not heed the U.N.'s recommendation to halt construction on a dam that the world body says endangers a world heritage site.

Project manager Azeb Asnake said Thursday that government impact studies found Gilgel Gibe III dam does not endanger Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake.

She says the dam will have a positive effect on the lake and will regulate the water flow of the Omo River, preventing floods and raising the water level during dry seasons.

Ethiopian officials say the dam costs about $1.7 billion and is partly financed by China's development bank.

Ethiopia is also building what will become the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, on the Nile River, in an attempt to add to the country's ailing power grid. Four more Nile Basin dams are planned.

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