Ethiopia: Association Urges Ethiopian Diaspora to Intensify Support for GERD

Addis Ababa — Ethiopian Diaspora Association has called on the diaspora to strengthen their support to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) through various forms of assistance, including financial and diplomatic efforts.

Ethiopian Diaspora Association Chief Executive Officer, Abraham Seyoum, who appreciated the diaspora for actively making clear to foreigners the importance of the dam to Ethiopians, said they should now intensify their support to finalize the dam.

According to him, the event organized yesterday by the Office of National Council for Coordination of Public Participation on the GERD and Lift Ethiopia was aimed at showing solidarity and support for the GERD by Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians.

"Beyond saying 'One Voice for Our Dam' we should purchase the GERD bond, contribute in our knowledge as well as advocate and lobby for fair utilization of Abbay River regionally and internationally," he added.

Since the commencement of the construction of the dam, the Ethiopian Diaspora have contributed over one billion birr for the GERD, it was learned.

The chief executive officer said much is expected from Ethiopians and the diaspora in creating awareness on the country's firm determination to benefit from the river in fair and reasonable manner among the Nile Basin countries.

"Nile River should not be a political agenda. It is about development. It is about benefit from water resources in equitable and reasonable way," Abraham stressed.

The CEO noted that the non-governmental organization headquartered in USA, Justice for Humanity (JFH), is working hard with the Ethiopian Diaspora in all states to advocate the solid position of Ethiopia.

Human rights activist Obang Meto said on his part called on all Ethiopians residing inside and outside the country to invigorate their determination for the completion of the dam, stressing that the first-year filling of the dam "is not the end, but the beginning."

He added that "when we stand together nothing can stop us, when stand together not as ethnic group but as a nation, as one people and family; we will do enormous job."

Obang insisted that many works remain to be done, and everybody should buy bonds, contribute with their knowledge, come back as volunteers and invest in the country.

Ethiopia has recently completed the initial filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with the 4.9 billion cubic meters of water that would enable it to test two turbines.

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