On the topic of Nile, dam projects, and old videos

Old video

I still can’t believe I found this ancient video.

Dam

About the Ethiopian dam controversy. I’m not convinced with the journalist’s view that it’d destroy the environment. He didn’t present any solid evidence.

He made it look like the dam was going to be used for making weapons. It is going to be used for irrigation and power, helping thousands of people if not millions. I don’t see any reason why the people in the video cannot benefit from it as well.

The people are nomads. They can probably relocate. The ones in Kenya will be affected and the Ethiopian government can’t help them directly. But I’d expect the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments would be able to negotiate about it.

We’re not even told how many people are affected. Are the nomads something like 30, 30,000 or a million?

“…doesn’t matter much what the Ethiopian government plans to do with that water, the fact is the people here see the act of building the dam as something deeply threatening…” followed by sunset, the people, and a sad song. So idiotic.

Mind you, I’m not saying the dam is environmentally safe either. I just don’t have enough information to say either way. That Ethiopian official is mean by the way. Manew sine siriat yastemarew? He told the journalist “I don’t care for what you say”. That was uncalled for. Very un-Ethiopian.

I was reading about the Nile for the past four hours. Richard Pankhurst’s article wraps it up. Egypt and Sudan are unbelievably greedy.

“If Egypt is a Gift of the Nile,” as the Egyptians say, “the Nile is above all a Gift of Ethiopia”. So said Gascon, a noted expert on the river.

I want to read the book by Haïlou Wolde-Giorghis (he quotes it in his article). Anyone read it yet?

Electronic trading for coffee farmers

There’s a nice video here,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8709563.stm

I sort of got the idea but I discussed with a friend of mine who knows more about electronic trading. The advantage for sellers is they get a fair sell. They are not stuck in a remote part of the country where a driver comes to them and buys off their stuff for a cheap price. Their named price will be up for everyone to see in the world – the middle layer is thinner. The buyers, by buying almost directly from farmers, will also get a cheap price. The company will make sure buyers get their coffee on time (they actually take the coffee and lock it in their store). The company also monitors the quality of the coffee.

That’s a good dose of good stuff to keep me going for the coming months at least.

Why wouldn’t you?

I met a family from Swaziland last night. We were talking about the cultural differences between different countries we have lived in. Then the wife said something that  striked me. “In Swaziland you speak to the person standing next to you in a bus stop. Why wouldn’t you?”.

The first statement is sort of true in Adisaba too (at least people wouldn’t be surprised if you started a conversation with them). But what’s still ringing in my head is her question “Why wouldn’t you?”.

I don’t know. I wish I could know what puts a wall between us.

She also said, “I saw something nice on the street the other day. One guy with his two small children was yelling out to someone across the street. And then I said ‘Finally, we have a community in this area!’ ”

It was great to speak to her. Before I could tell her what I thought, she had reiterated what I used to tell everyone.

And for a change, she’s white. Her husband, her daughter, all of the same view, all as white as anyone can get. It’s not me having some complex skin color issues.

Good luck adjusting nice woman. I wish the environment doesn’t change you as it has changed me.

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