The Human Security Dimensions of Dam Development: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
JENNIFER C. VEILLEUX
Large-scale dam development provokes strong emotions because of costs and benefits, whether potential or actual, to political, socio-cultural, economic, and environmental systems. Countries currently developing water resources through dam projects are doing so in response to poverty issues, coupled with pressures from population growth and changes to the climate, specifically, changes to water resources. The question of human security, a loosely defined term that covers the stability, safety, and access to opportunity of an individual and a related community now and in the future, as well as the environment upon which that individual or community depends, is a way of describing the scope of changes dam development causes in different sectors and at multiple geographic and temporal scales. Dam development has far-reaching diverse impacts that may include altering economic and social systems, providing a buffer against increasingly unknown challenges due to climate change, and potentially destroying ecosystems and traditional lifestyles. Dams may also be political symbols of national modernity, power, and identity.
The Blue Nile River Valley
1. World Commission on Dams, Dams and Development: A New Framework for Decision-Making (London: Earthscan, 2000).