ADDIS ABABA – The overall construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ( GERD) a symbol of national unity and economic growth, has reached 80 percent due to the meticulous leadership of the past three years, Ministry of Water , Irrigation and Energy said.
Belete Berhanu (PhD) from the ministry told local media that the construction of the dam has been executed carefully, responsibly and without interruption. The government has given top priority to the project, which would be an engine to the industrialization of the country. Belete highlighted that the second phase filling of the dam and preliminary energy producing trial are the major plans of the project.
As to him, all the necessary preconditions to undertake the second filling has been completed and the only thing remaining is filling gates and binding them up. Egypt has been struggling to harm the interest of Ethiopia and not seeking for her share of the water.
The construction of the project had been lagged behind due to several reasons. However, the restructuring of the management of the project has solved the problem. Famous companies from Germany, France and China have enhanced the construction progress, Belete disclosed.
Currently, the project is ready to accumulate the expected amount of water via the second round filling. The first and second round filling would retain a total of 18.4 Billion cubic meter of water so that the two turbines would operational in this year, it was learnt. Ibrahim Edris, Member of GERD Trilateral Negotiations said on his part it is Egypt’s hypocrisy to demand Ethiopia to consult it prior to the commencement of the GERD as the former did not consult Ethiopia when building Aswan High Dam in the River Nile.
At to him, that Ethiopia had not signed any binding agreement which rules the utilization of the water resources. The Egyptians claim to rule the water utilization is obsolete. That is why they are lobbying the international community to influence the government of Ethiopia from operating the dam. 98.1 percent of civil works, 54.5 percent of the electric mechanical and 55.2 of hydroelectric structure works have been completed, he explained.
To Sheikh Kassim Tajudin, Islamic Affairs Supreme Council Secretary, external enemies are working to disunite the Ethiopians into ethnic and religious lines to weaken the power of the country. Spreading wrong information about the status and progress of the project has been one of the strategies to halt the construction progress, he concluded.
BY GETAHUN LEGESSE
The Ethiopian Herald May 21/2021