Studies on GERD progressing as per scheduled: Minister

Addis Ababa, March 20, 2017 (FBC) – The two firms chosen to conduct studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been carrying out their operations as per scheduled, said the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have agreed the two French companies - BRL and Artelia, to conduct two studies on the socio-economic impact of the dam on the lower riparian countries.

Dr Engineer Sileshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, told FBC that the two firms have been conducting their studies since late last month and as per planned.

The three countries will soon meet to see the progress of the study, he said. The two firms are expected to complete their studies and summit the report to the three countries within 11 months, the minister said.

GERD project was launched six year ago. Africa’s largest dam once completed is being funded by the people and government of Ethiopia.

The people of Ethiopia have been supporting the construction of the dam through the purchase of dam bonds. Ethiopians at home and abroad have so far made a 9.6 billion birr contribution for the 6,450MW hydropower project.

The stated amount was obtained from bonds sold at home and abroad at various times, including at bond week, GRED trophy tours, 8100A GERD SMS, lottery sale and donation from Ethiopians in the Diaspora.

Ethiopia is preparing to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the commencement of the construction of the dam with various fund raising programs.

According to Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Dam various fund raising programs will be carried out in connection with the anniversary.

It planned to collect 1.8 billion birr from the fund raising programs.

Translated and posted by Amare Asrat