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River Basin Development and Human Rights in Eastern Africa — A Policy Crossroads

Authors: Carr, Claudia J.

  • This is an open access book
  • Only book to analyze the vulnerability of ethnic groups in the aridic Ethiopia-South Sudan-Kenya border region  
  • Reflects years of research, with the participation of local residents and citizen organizations
  • Makes clear that no environmental or social review of the full cross-border impact area has been conducted  
  • Offers a devastating look at deeply flawed development process fueled by the special interests of global finance and African governments
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-50469-8
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $59.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-50468-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license.
This book offers a devastating look at deeply flawed development processes driven by international finance, African governments and the global consulting industry. It examines major river basin development underway in the semi-arid borderlands of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan and its disastrous human rights consequences for a half-million indigenous people. The volume traces the historical origins of Gibe III megadam construction along the Omo River in Ethiopia—in turn, enabling irrigation for commercial-scale agricultural development and causing radical reduction of downstream Omo and (Kenya's) Lake Turkana waters. Presenting case studies of indigenous Dasanech and northernmost Turkana livelihood systems and Gibe III linked impacts on them, the author predicts agropastoral and fishing economic collapse, region-wide hunger with exposure to disease epidemics, irreversible natural resource destruction and cross-border interethnic armed conflict spilling into South Sudan. The book identifies fundamental failings of government and development bank impact assessments, including their distortion or omission of mandated transboundary assessment, cumulative effects of the Gibe III dam and its linked Ethiopia-Kenya energy transmission 'highway' project, key hydrologic and human ecological characteristics, major earthquake threat in the dam region and widespread expropriation and political repression. Violations of internationally recognized human rights, especially by the Ethiopian government but also the Kenyan government, are extensive and on the increase—with collaboration by the development banks, in breach of their own internal operational procedures. A policy crossroads has now emerged. The author presents the alternative to the present looming catastrophe—consideration of development suspension in order to undertake genuinely independent transboundary assessment and a plan for continued development action within a human rights framework—forging a sustainable future for the indigenous peoples now directly threatened and for their respective eastern Africa states. 

Claudia Carr’s book is a treasure of detailed information gathered over many years concerning river basin development of the Omo River in Ethiopia and its impact on the peoples of the lower Omo Basin and the Lake Turkana region in Kenya. It contains numerous maps, charts, and photographs not previously available to the public. The book is highly critical of the environmental and human rights implications of the Omo River hydropower projects on both the local ethnic communities in Ethiopia and on the downstream Turkana in Kenya. 

David Shinn Former Ambassador to Ethiopia and to Burkina Faso Adjust Professor of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington D.C.

About the authors

Claudia Carr is Associate Professor Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches courses related to international rural development policy. She has spent decades engaged in field-based research and consulting in pastoral regions of East Africa/the Horn, in combination with policy-based work in both African governmental and non-governmental contexts as well as Northern based ones, including the National Research Council's Board on Science and Technology in International Development and an Advisory Panel on river basin development. She is the author of a previous book on the Ethiopia-Kenya-South Sudan region, Pastoralism in Crisis The Dassanech of Southwest Ethiopia, along with several articles and reports. 

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • At Stake with River Basin Development in Eastern Africa

    Carr, Claudia J.

    Pages 1-21

  • The Persistent Paradigm for ‘Modernizing’ River Basins: Institutions and Policies in Ethiopia

    Carr, Claudia J.

    Pages 23-41

  • The Seismic Threat to the Gibe III Dam: A Disaster in Waiting

    Carr, Claudia J.

    Pages 43-52

  • Transboundary Survival Systems: A Profile of Vulnerability

    Carr, Claudia J.

    Pages 53-74

  • Components of Catastrophe: Social and Environmental Consequences of Omo River Basin Development

    Carr, Claudia J.

    Pages 75-84

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50469-8
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50468-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
River Basin Development and Human Rights in Eastern Africa — A Policy Crossroads
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-50469-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-50469-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-50468-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 240
Number of Illustrations and Tables
8 b/w illustrations, 66 illustrations in colour
Topics