Ethiopia is building one of the most important African dams, on the Omo River. According to the government, the dam will double the amount of energy available in the country.
“The dam will dramatically change the life of 200 000 people settled in the Omo Valley, says the French photographer-reporter Eric Lafforgue. The government plans to relocate people in new villages by promising access to health care and education. But traditional ethiopian tribes have always lived out of agriculture and cattle breeding. Today their lands have been confiscated and ‘rented’, for 1 euro a month, to multinational companies. Water from the dam is used to irrigate crops owned by corporations. The military take care of people who resist ‘modernization’.
Some Suri people work for the multinationals. They earn 30 euro per month. They save to buy cows, but less and less land is available to graze. Situation is tense. The government sent armed troops to ‘control’ tribes.
Then central Addis Ababa government organized a kind of dance competition, filmed and aired by Ethiopian national TV, to show the public that there are no problems in the area. The prize was 12 eggs.
Suri do not eat eggs. ”
And probably Suri, like most Ethiopians, do not even eat what foreign companies grow on their lands.
© Melissa Pignatelli
© Photographic story by Eric Lafforgue, linked here.