Residents of Addis Ababa said the recently-completed first phase of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) showcased the country's successful journey to prosperity through active participation of every citizen and the government.
On Sunday, Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin living here and across the globe showed solidarity for the filling of the dam starting from 04:00 PM for three minutes under the theme: "Our Voice for Our Dam".
Residents who talk to EPA stated that the completion of the first phase of filling the dam affirm the fact that no earthly force can deter Ethiopia from prosper and that the diplomatic success the government registered in bring back GERD talks to African Union is also compared with the victory of Adwa.
The residents indicated that the filling of the dam also testify the long-cherished ability of the people of Ethiopia to pass any challenges and difficulties and stand unison for common goal. "All the sons and daughters of Ethiopia are credited in making new history through actively financed the construction of the GERD in purchasing bonds and lottery, making donation and involved in SMS schemes."
According to them, the filling of the dam plays a pivotal role to government's vision of transforming the agrarian economy to industry-led one through availing a dependable electricity for the manufacturing sector. The dam would also have a paramount importance in changing the livelihoods of citizens and maintain the country's status of the powerhouse of the East African region.
They called on the public to maintain their support to the building of the dam financially, professionally and in other ways. The government should keep its engagement in solving differences in the use of Nile waters through negotiations and meticulous diplomatic efforts are also crucial to promote Ethiopia's just cause in the fair utilization of natural resources for the international community.
In related development, Office of National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the construction of the GRED in collaboration with Lift Ethiopia hosted a solidarity campaign to make Ethiopian voices heard in the global community.
Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said Ethiopians from all walks of life have massively contributed to the construction of the flagship project. According to the Deputy Premier, the solidarity campaign is staged to mobilize public's active participation and draw diplomatic backings from global key players for the successful execution of the GERD other rather than celebrating the first phase of filling the dam.
"We testified the world how strong we are and capable to achieve our desires without any support from the outside. The dam is our demonstration of unity and togetherness. We are striving to complete the dam together as we started it together," Demeke remarked.
Since the commencement of the construction of the GERD, the public have contributed more than 13.6 billion Birr for the dam. It is to be recalled that on July 21, the government announced that the first phase filling of the dam was successfully completed capitalized on the two weeks of heavy rainfall that was received in the current Ethiopian month.