12 October 2017

Ethiopia: GERD Construction Steadily Underway - Office

Photo: Ethiopian Herald
The Grand Renaissance Dam or GERD.

The recent speculations floating on social media and some unreliable news sources claiming that the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is halted signals a desperate attempt to portray a bleak image on the indisputable progress of the dam, says Office.

Ethiopia is solely directed at finalizing the construction and it does not intend to respond to every recurrent rumors and baseless reports.

Tagel Kenubih, Deputy Director General at the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the GERD tells The Ethiopian Herald.

The construction of the dam is being carried out in line with the schedule reaching over 60 percent completion currently notes Tagel. Some media outlets have information vacuum that they resort on rumors and unreliable information sources, he adds, " Had they have been able to set their feet on the construction site, they would not have speculated.

"Every one can openly pay visit to the dam and observe the progress. In fact let alone visiting the site, the entire Ethiopian people have been sustaining financial contribution to the dam. The government and the people remain as robust as they have been to finance and complete the dam."

So far 10.5 billion Birr is secured from the public, he further note adding that in the last year, the public has contributed financial assistance worth 1.2 billion Birr and is expected to contribute 1.5 billion birr this year.

Meanwhile, some Egyptian media outlets have been reporting that the dam may compromise the water share and supply of Egypt, which Ethiopia strongly and repeatedly disagrees.

Contrary to what some Egyptian media was propagating, Trans-boundary Resource Affairs Acting Director Zerihun Abebe indicated that GERD will have multiple benefits to the downstream countries, up on presenting a paper on the very sense of the Dam, recently.

Ethiopia repeatedly assured for long its readiness to work with other Nile riparian countries on fair utilization of the river, he underscored.

"For long, Ethiopia firmly believed in common benefits and negotiations and will continue to do so. That is why international panel of experts was formed that have been conducting various technical studies where they indicated that dam does not affect the downstream countries."

GERD could be used as an opportunity for bringing sense of cooperation and the tripartite national committee has continued to work on the studies, noted Zerihun.

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