Rice Production or Investment in Gambela region, Ethiopian government's propaganda video

TWITTER
FACEBOOK

ASO | 10 July 2010

The Saudi Star Farm Centre in Gambela, Ethiopia

By Nyikaw Ochalla, Director

Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO

(Ethiopian government's video is below)

Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO has been a critical voice on the land lease policy of the Ethiopian government, which does not take into account the traditional agricultural and environmental practices of indigenous people that protect the ecological system and natural environment in the Gambela region. We have been concerned of the secret deals which not only affect human lives but also the entire natural environment.

We are aware that there are currently two agricultural projects being carried out by two major foreign investors in the region; Saudi Star (Saudi Arabia) and Karuturi Global (India). We recently learnt that another Indian Company-Ruchi Soya has secured a land lease contract on 250,000 hectares in the Gog district along the Gilo River, another main River upon which the lives of the indigenous people entirely depend for their agricultural activities. The amount of land extends from Obela area to Arieth village along the Gilo River. The details of the land lease contract remain a secret between the company and the Ethiopian authorities. All these foreign companies are misled by the government claim that the vast fertile farmlands leased out to them are “wastelands” that have no impact on the socio-economic and environmental impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the indigenous peoples in the region.

Although there is limited information on the amount of land allocated to both Saudi Star and Karuturi Global, reliable information sources shows that 250, 000 hectares of fertile farmlands along the Openo (Baro) River have been allocated to Karuturi, while 10,000 hectares of farmlands along the Aloworo River have been allocated to Saudi Star. According to the government's video report, the 10,000 hectares allocated to Saudi Star is for a pilot project phase, while the full allotment was 500,000 hectares to produce rice for export purpose.

The report on rice production or investment in Gambela region reveals key issues about the secret deals between the Ethiopian government and Saudi Star on which the indigenous peoples have no inputs. It clearly defines the government position- lack of concern for indigenous people in Gambela and the intention to implement any development project on their natural environment without any consultation, compensation and participation. The report further makes no mention of socio-economic and environmental assessment carried out to establish the impact of the rice investment on the indigenous people whose lives and livelihood are affected.

The report shows how the Saudi Star rice project uses critical water reserves from the tiny Aloworo River which over 20,000 local populations depend upon for drinking, fishing and farming. The same river and natural environment hosts numerous wild animals and various types of fish species and wild birds, which are not only threatened by this environmental destruction and degradation but face extinction due to these large-scale agricultural activities.

The report claims that rice production or investment in Gambela has provided job opportunities to local population. But this government propaganda is not well founded. As it can be seen from the evidence on the report, the majority local populations whose natural environment and farmlands are destroyed by this foreign company without any form of participation are doing long hours of daily labour because of the social and economic destitution brought upon them by the government's destructive project. In fact, the face of the two young Anuak interviewed shows clearly that they are under duress to say they are benefiting from the project for fear of intimidation and harassment from government officials.

Anywaa Survival Organisation, thus, strongly opposes and denounces the environmental and socially destructive policy of the current regime and informs the company to stop its operations and stay away from these legally complex investment projects. We also would like to send the same message to other companies taking part in the destructive government agricultural projects to take necessary steps to withdraw from environmentally and socially unacceptable projects.

For further information, please contact

Nyikaw Ochalla

Director

Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO

Send your comments to [email protected]

---

Ethiopian Radio & Television Agency,

"Rice Production or Investment in Gambela"

 

http://www.erta.gov.et/menubar/?category=menubar&type=disp&idd=143

Original source: ASO
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
FACEBOOK

7 Comments


  1. teklu abay
    06 Jun 2011

    initial investment of rice production on a 1 ha.land plot

  2. Kimoch
    18 Jul 2010

    Gambella has become a trash zone for Malaze where all the dirties pilot projects will be tested. What makes me cry is how the regional politicians turned blinds to the reality of their problem. They are just hunting themselves for how to stay in power. I swear, if the habbit of politics game is not changed, and if no true Gammbella patriotists are born yet then for sure, the suffering of these innocents will continue. Imagine the Federal Goverment of Ethiopia only interfers for "Gemgema" Amharic word translates "Evaluation" the regional officials when the problem is high in the region. Where is the use of constitution, and what prevented it to be used on daily bases. My point here is; Gambella people united yourselves, leave dependent on the politic "shumes" money Amharic word for nomination, create your own businesses.A plotician who leads because of getting money is not a real politician. Gambella must have politicians who stand firm enough to face the reality of their regional problem, and confrontate Malaze with linear equations. When I visited the region two years a go I almost lost my heart for the masacree had been done to Anyuaks, for the forceful migration been done to the Nuer, and the scheme behind all these now is clear;"Pilot-project agriculture land leases" to the foriegners. Gambelians wake up the whole country is up already for...... May the God of this land (Gambella) helps its locals. The writer is a Nuer expert far a way from home but concerns daily for the welfare of his people.Amanda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. 14 Jul 2010

    that is shame!!!! It is just like towel-paper, use and throw. See what a crazy and killer PM Zenawi is doing to his country. This plan has nothing in it the citzens of Ethiopia but for the foregners!!!! Shame On you Zenawi!!

  4. 13 Jul 2010

    ETHOIPAN GOVEM HAVE STOP LALKING ANYAUK IS NOT 20 YEARS GO THE ARE EVERY WHEE TODAY IF ETHOIPAN HE CANT STOP THE WILL SEE OUT TO THIS PROBEM BETER FOR THEM TO STOP PEACE ETHOIPAN SUDAN HE HAVE SAME PLAN TO TALKE LAND SUDA GAMBEAL IS NOT ETHOIPAN LAND THIS ANYAK LAND.I HOPE YOU WILL SEE THIS THANK MY GOD BLESSS ANYUAK PEOPLE WHERE.

  5. myself
    13 Jul 2010

    shame on Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO, dingay rasoch bicha come see the difference, it is not West that can gave you Ethiopia as a country to live, it the almighty God. SO Come and use it land grab or ... why?

  6. Nofutu
    13 Jul 2010

    Do i have to always such complains?

  7. Gatluak(Gabella)
    13 Jul 2010

    Who cares for the dead fish, except the fisher man! Why you always had a 50 cents hair cut on 5 cents head?

Post a comment

Name

Email address (optional - if you want a reply)

Comment