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Executive Summary of Public Consultations and Disclosure Plan

 As a continuous activity, the Gibe III hydropower project has initiated public consultations and disclosure from the outset and the project is committed to continue the process throughout the project's life. A Public Consultation was initiated in 2006, 2007 and 2008 during the initial phase of the Gibe III- Hydroelectric project.

As part of this continuous process, a series of public consultations were carried out with federal, regional, zonal, wereda and local officials and institutions, project-affected persons (PAPs), community elders and NGOs level. Consultations were carefully planned and conducted to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in covering key issues both from the PAPs and communities on the one hand, and the project interests on the other.

A combination of various consultation methods were used to assess knowledge, perception and attitude of the communities about the proposed project and its potential impacts. The methods used include interview with key informants/people, small group discussion and public/community meetings. The overall number of the consultative participants drawn from administrative and community level was more than 1,749, consisting of 203 Zonal and Wereda officials, 409 kebele peasant associations council members, 869 community members were consulted through community discussions and 268 individual household heads were consulted privately.

Discussion and interviews conducted with the local community and their leaders indicated that their attitude towards the proposed project is positive. They believe such project contributes to the attainment of local, regional and national development goals. However, they also expressed their fears and concerns, and these are briefly presented below:

     Major Findings of Consultation for the Dam and Reservoir Area

•    Loss of incense trees, gum and other important trees found along the banks of the River;

•    Loss of natural forest products such as mitimita, berbere, zinjible, Korerima, etc

•    Loss of forest honey production as the result of flooding;

•    Loss of holly/hot springs along the Omo River which are used by the local community and their cattle;

.        Loss of crossing paths on the Omo River and disruptions to the social and economic relations among different communities living on both sides of the Omo river;

.        Flooding of some parts of King Halala Wall and King Ijajo Walls;

.        Spread of malaria to the nearby residents due to the creation of large water body;

.        Spread of HIV/AIDS to the local people during project implementation stage

.        Flooding of wildlife habitat may cause wildlife attack on humans and their cattles;

.        Extra traveling time and cost as the result of shifting the existing Chida-Sodo road bridge to the downstream.

 

 Finding of Consultation on Cultural Resources

.        They expressed concern about the potential damage the flooding will cause to the Heritage sites of King Halala Wall and King Ijajo Walls. Requested for the establishment of these sites as heritage site.

.        The local leaders requested authority for research and conservation of cultural heritage (ARCCH) together with Information and Culture Bureau of SNNPR to   carry out research on the walls.

.        Full and urgent documentation works should be carried out on the sections to be flooded.

.        As a compensation to this loss, they proposed EEPCO to implement a social development plan.

       Major Findings of Consultation with Agro-pastoralist Community

•   The livelihood of the people is based on agro-pastoral farming system, dominantly livestock rearing.
•   They move to different places along the Gibe, Gojeb and Omo River banks in search of grazing land.  However, they are constantly in conflict over resources use with the indigenous people from these   areas. They often attack, rob of their property and set on fire their temporary dwellings.
    The community views the potential flooding of their crossings and the possibility of losing their traditional grazing resources on the other side of the rivers as greatly affecting their major sources of pasture land for their livestock.
   They expressed the presence of strong trade, cultural, blood and marriage ties between communities on both sides of the river. The people of Hadiya zone particularly Soro Gibe and Gembor Wereda make a weekly market with the community of Dawro and Jimma zones and Konta and Yem Special Weredas.
   As mitigation measures, the agro-pastoralist community proposed to improve livestock keeping and  range amelioration forage area development and construction of a bridge across the Gibe River.

 
    Major Findings of Consultation at Lower Omo

  The Community stressed the importance of the Omo River for agricultural, livestock and fishery activities both for home consumption as well as for commercial and economic aspects.
•  In the absence of the Omo flood, there will be a substantial decline in the production of crop from recession agriculture, dry season grazing resources and fishing.
•  They proposed as mitigation measures to release artificial floodings to guarantee overflowing of the river and thus continuation of recession agriculture and presence of riverine green grazing lands.


Public Disclosure

  It should be emphasized from the outset that the Gibe III hydropower project involves a multitude of stakeholders ranging from PAPs to the project developer, Federal and regional governments through to financers, NGOs, and environmentalists, etc. It is the responsibility of the project to provide all stakeholders at all levels to provide them with accurate and up-to-date information about its plans and operations.
Based on the nature and scale of the project, the following methods will be adopted as a public disclosure exercise:

National Consultative Workshop: The project will organize a national consultative workshop to bring all key players together to express their views and concerns on the project and its impact and discuss the contents of the ESIA and contribute to its finalization.

Permanent Project Web Site: The project will design, host and maintain a project web site throughout the life of the project. This electronic medium will serve as a permanent promotion, information and public relations forum for the project making it easier to reach out both national and international stakeholders and address their concerns in addition to equipping them with accurate and up-to-date information about the project.

 

Public Consultation and Disclosure Heldwith

The Project-Affected Upstream Communities

The upstream communities are expectedly affected by different activities of the Gibe III Hydroelectric Project like the Reservoir flooding and the structure of transmission lines, camps of the laborer and Chida-Sodao roads construction. Due to this, it is part and parcel of the Project to conduct a series of public consultation and disclosure campaigns around those communities. Accordingly, the Environmental and Social Monitoring & Management Team of Gibe III Hydroelectric Project carried out public consultations, disclosures and complimentary discussions with the upstream project- affected communities of the Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples Regional (SNNPR) State from December 31st, 2009 to January 5th, 2010. The team was composed of an Environmentalist, two Sociologists, two Public Relation Officers, Camera man and driver.

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Meles Zenawi

The Management , Employees  and  staff of  Gibe III Hydroelectric   project  of  the Ethiopian Electric Power  Corporation  express  their   heartfelt   condolences  on  the  sudden  passing  away  of  His Excellency  Ato  Meles  Zenawi, Prime  Minister of  The  F.D.R.E.
Our  sympathies go to his families, friends and to all peoples of Ethiopia.

Rest In Peace!!!
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