Points of Conflict Related to Micro-hydro Power (MHP) Projects in Ethiopia
Points of conflict may occur due to different interests of land users and stakeholders respectively. The MHP projects will primarily supply electricity to population living close to the powerhouse. Nonetheless, most of the mitigation and intervention techniques will most likely be implemented in upstream areas.
These headwater regions are most important for the retention capacity of the soil and thus for a stable discharge rate, which in turn is crucial for a sustainable use of the MHP. Hence the population upstream needs to understand the long term benefit they will gain from the implementation of various mitigation and intervention techniques, such as higher yields due to improved soils, although they will not directly benefit from the electricity supply.
Due to its economic benefit, Eucalyptus is extensively cultivated all over Ethiopia. Nevertheless it has negative effects on the ecological condition of the catchment (and its cultivation is thus not recommended in ecological terms (and in order to provide a sustainable use of the MHP). Hence there might evolve conflicts between economical and ecological interests.