Tigrai Online - May 28, 2013
The diversion of the course of Abay (Blue Nile) River was successfully undertaken on Tuesday to make way for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Speaking at the a ceremony held at the Guba, site of the GERD in Benishangul Gumuz State, President of the GERD Construction Public Coordination Council and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnin said the diversion of the River has been successfully done to utilize the resource for national interest.
The benefit of the GERD which is the fruit of the May 28 Victory is not only for the nation but also for neigbouring countries, he said. He also called up on the public to continue the support it has extended to the construction of the Dam since inception till the end.
Demeke said the government would remain focused to realize the vision of the late Great leader Meles Zenawi and martyrs, thereby promoting the Ethiopian Renaissance.
Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu for his part said the construction of the Dam is being carried out in such a way that it maintains the mutual benefit of the Nile basin countries. He said it would also enhance cooperation and economic integration and would not do any damage to the lower riparian countries.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation Mihret Debebe said energy projects like the GERD are very essential in developing countries like Ethiopia to deal with the growing energy demand. He noted that the government has embarked up on generating up to 8,000 MW energy at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan period.
The GERD construction for which a corner stone was laid by late Meles Zenawi two years ago has now reached 21 percent of its construction accomplishment.
The Dam which will have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW at its completion has created job opportunity for over 5,000 citizens. The Dam will have a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.