ARBA MINCH - Activities to the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir are being carried out without any interruption and through the schedule, Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Sileshi Bekele (PhD) said. In his opening remarks at discussion titled Intellectual and Citizens engagement for GERD Realization at Arba Minch town of SNNP state, the Minister Seleshi Bekele (PhD) said that Ethiopia is working to retain sufficient water in the second-round filling without causing harm to Nile lower riparian states.
The height of the dam has currently reached 565 meters and is due to reach 595 in the coming 20 days. "The completion of the dam will have a great contribution to Ethiopia as well as Sudan and Egypt. But Sudanese administration is serving Egypt's futile plan of frustrating the construction and negotiation process," he added.
Director-General of the National Coordination Office for the Construction of the GERD Aregawi Berhe, (PhD) said on his part that the contribution of intellectuals to defend national interest particularly concerning utilization of water resources is not yet enough. "Unity has to come into all minds as aggressors are conspiring against Ethiopians right of using its resources and our question is a matter of equity and justice beyond using the resources that originate from our land," Aregawi noted.
By the same token, Arba Minch University President Damtew Darza (PhD) stated that water resources, a major source of energy, are not adequately utilized. The university has been hugely engaged in nurturing skilled human resources in water development projects, he remarked. The discussion was hosted by Arba Minch University.
BY YESUF ENDRIS