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

Old video

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


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,


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.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. getere
    Jun 12, 2010 @ 20:22:44

    i don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. he did say that NGOs are afraid to speak against it. but at the end of the day we need to have *some* information to agree with him.

    ah. so they’re brothers. i understand what Teweldebirhan says – conceptually. but his choice of words is bad. he could for example have said “when you walk you kill your own cells”.

    you’re right, what hailesellasie said is contradictory. but think about it. Lincoln, the American president who stopped slavery used to own slaves himself. David Hume, a philosopher respected among philosophers, opposed slavery but he was a white supremacist. even us, we demarcate ourselves with borders….you see the drift?

    another friend was against the coffee trading (to my surprise). he said the quality of coffee will be bad now that you don’t actually go to the site (eg. Yirga Cheffe) to buy the coffee but you get it from a centralized location. i disagreed with him there because i think they can control the quality, have some authority that certifies the quality or where it came from. what do i know…

    i like the teaching about letting go of worrying thoughts… and avoiding pain too. there’s so much we can’t control. we need to learn taking small steps. if you’re selfish though people would notice and become selfish. if you’re good they’ll learn good from you. we’re all connected in what we do. so i don’t buy the no-good-evil-sin argument. there’s plenty of good and evil out there and our decisions determine which kind will multiply…


    • tibebe
      Jun 13, 2010 @ 16:08:52

      of course there is good and evil. what he is saying is that we should make our peace with both and not worry about too much about being good or bad. they are as inevitable as the seasons. the essence of most religions is about defeating evil. what buddha is saying is i think, you might as well accept it and get on with your life serenly.


  2. tibebe
    Jun 12, 2010 @ 15:21:16

    let me seek middle ground here and ask: are the dam and the lives of the people downstream mutually exclusive as the documentary portrays them to be? and would “artificial floods” alone suffice to avert the threat – as the government claims they would?

    something fishy about both cases; not rat, fish 🙂

    Dr Teweldebirhan, well, what did you expect from Sibhat G/ egziabher’s brother; it runs in the family. I especially hated the “…even when you walk you are bound to kill little creatures…” simile. He would have been better off writing “endewerede” tarikoch just like his hermano.

    Mihiret Debebe also I did not feel, dragging in Afghanistan and Iraq and shit.

    The journalist – a fake bleeding-heart who is not even trying to fake.

    I think I have seen the cover of Hailu’s book and it is rather impressive 🙂

    when I listen to Hailesellassie taking about the equality of races, I can’t help but remember about “Chiseña” and “Balabat” and even “Bariawoch”. That makes him a hypocrite and a sham of the worst kind, doesn’t it?

    it is good to know that the coffee farmers are getting more for their produce. Will they put the money to good use? that’s another issue.

    btw I finished reading Buddha: a story of enlightenment. A very nice book. I would have gone out today and become a Buddha – it is like everything I have been searching for – if it did not sound too difficult. But I like the idea that this whole world is a dream filled with suffering; that good and bad are like just seasons and we should not be involved in a battle between good and evil which we cannot win because there is no battle in the first place; that we can put our thinking in the auto pilot mode …


    “As the scriptures say, the mind is like a runaway coach, and the driver never stops whipping the horses. But from inside the coach a voice whispers, “Please stop.” At first the team and driver ignore the voice. It is very soft; it never insists. Over time, however, the voice wins obedience, and the driver and horses stop wildly galloping. Bit by bit they slow down until the mind is at rest. Thus Siddhartha learned a basic lesson: whatever can run can also stand still”

    “I have come back to tell you that you can be whole, but only if you see yourself that way. There is no holy life. There is no war between good and evil. There is no sin and no redemption. None of these things matter to the real you. But they all matter hugely to the false you, the one who believes in the separate self. You have tried to take your separate self, with all its loneliness and anxiety and pride, to the door of enlightenment. But it will never go through, because it is a ghost.”

    When I wake up in the morning I remember who I am almost immediately. How does that change?
    “By gradually shifting your allegiance. Consider how you relate to your body. You mostly forget about it. Heartbeat, metabolism, body temperature, electrolyte balance—literally dozens of processes go on automatically, and your nervous system coordinates them perfectly without interference from the conscious mind. Buddha suggests that you can let go of many things that you’re certain you must control. Instead of devoting so much effort and struggle to thinking, planning, running after pleasure, and avoiding pain, you can surrender and put those functions on automatic, also. This is accomplished gradually by a practice called mindfulness.”

    Anyone want me to email them the book, holla at me.

    The funny thing is that, in the folder Buddha is to the left, Imitation of Christ in the right and Shakespeare in the middle. I must be so fucked up, huh


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