Interview: Standing Up Against A Massive Dam Project in Africa

The Gibe III dam project in Ethiopia — which, if completed, would be the world’s fourth-largest dam — was moving steadily forward when it collided with a 31-year-old Kenyan woman named Ikal Angelei. Since learning of
Ikal Angelei
Goldman Environmental Prize
Ikal Angelei
the project in 2008, she has galvanized local and international opposition to the dam, which would generate electricity for East Africa but also threaten the way of life of hundreds of thousands of indigenous Ethiopians and Kenyans who rely on the waters of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent desert lake. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Angelei, who recently received a 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize, describes why the Gibe III project threatens the survival of the region’s indigenous people, what it will take it to stop it, and how she has used public pressure and social media in her campaign against the dam. “If we let go and say, ‘Build the dam,’ it means we are saying that… governments can destroy ecosystems in the name of development,” she says.
Read the interview