30 December 2017

Ethiopia: First Water-Park Breaks Ground in Bishoftu

Photo: Balikiman/Wikimedia Commons
Lake Hora, one of five crater lakes in Bishoftu.

Kuriftu Resort & Spa is constructing the nation's first water-park, an amusement park that features water play areas, at the cost of 70 million Br in Bishoftu town.

The park, located in the partially operational Cultural Village of Kuriftu, needs 1.2 million litres of water for the first water filling. After the first filling, it is going to consume 400,000lts of water every day.

Lying on a 19,700sqm plot, the water park will be 18m high and have additional areas designated for fast food and other recreational activities. The water playground will serve both adults and kids with a capacity of accommodating 1,000 visitors daily.

The park will have 12 facilities designated for different recreational activities such as the water wave pool, which will host concerts and events with a lit-up stage, in addition to its beach-like features including the sand.

"The park will make Bishoftu iconic and attract more local tourists," according to Kumneger Teketel, managing director of Ozzie Business & Hospitality Group.

Kuriftu contracted Guangzhou Entertainment Technology Co. Ltd six months ago to supply the imported facilities and also commissioned it with two million dollars. The project will be fully financed by Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), which has rented a spot in the cultural village beside Enat Bank.

"The commissioning should have been finalised by now, but the project was delayed due to foreign currency shortage," according to Eskinder Getachew, general manager of Kuriftu resort and spa.

The Company has already selected the installation areas and is currently working on the excavation works to make the area ready for the fitting.

As part of the preparation, the Company had already submitted a letter of cooperation at the city administration for water supply six months ago. Their request was sent to the town's water bureau, where the case is still pending.

"We are planning to submit a fresh request to the municipality as the previous one wasn't given any attention," said Eskinder.

The village, where the water park will reside, is planned to be a shopping hub of products with a traditional flair. Upon completion, it will have 200 shops.

Besides the village, Kuriftu has five operational resort and hotels in Bishoftu, Bahir Dar, Semera, Langano, and Adama, while the construction of three more resorts is underway.

The Gheralta Resort, located in the mountainous parts of Tigray and Burayu Kuriftu Africa Village in the Oromia regional state along with the first overseas branch in Moucha Island, Djibouti, are the projects under construction. It also plans to own a total of nine resorts, a luxury one located on the island of Djibouti.

Owner of the park has targeted to share visitors coming to the country and also to the town with its water play areas, such as swimming pools, water slides, water playgrounds or other recreational environments.

Yohannes Tilahun, CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO), supports the effort and quantified that from the 900,000 tourists who have visited the country in the past year, 86pc of them were business travellers. He also states that local tourists such as modern families will flock to the town.

"Majority of our tourists will be from Addis Abeba, creating a market opportunity for the towns around Addis to share the sector's revenues," said Yohannes.

"The best-case scenario for completion will be by the end of 2018," said Eskinder.

Even though the project will play a significant role in attracting more tourists to the city, the owners should consider environmental protection and hygiene, according to Kumneger.


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