Helicopter crashes on Nile while performing survey

Helicopter crashes on Nile while performing survey

The survey was for two additional dams on the river

A helicopter carrying out a feasibility study for the construction of two new dams on the Blue Nile crashed into the river on Monday, April 18.

It flew into a cable spanning across the river used by locals to cross the gorge that is riverbed, according to sources. The pilot and all five experts on-board performing the studies swam to safety and emerged unharmed.

The two-million-dollar aircraft belonging to a Southafrican company took off from Qoncho area in the Benishangul Gumuz region, and was leased to the Ethiopian government for a daily rate of 1,500 dollars. The government was using it to carry out the studies at the planned dam sites of Mendiya and Beko Abbo districts.Helicopter crashes on Nile while performing survey

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These planned projects, as disparate with the recently launched, 5,250 MW Millennium Dam on the Nile, make up the subsequent chapters on the government’s upped hydroelectric production plans. The study for the Mendiya dam is assessing the feasibility for a 200 m tall dam with a generating capacity of 2,000 MW located in the Benishangul Gumuz region while that of Beko Abbo is for a 285 m, 2,100 MW plant at the border location of Gojam in the Amhara region and East Wollega in Oromia.

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The feasibility studies were contracted to a total of six overseas and two local firms a year ago. The firms include Norplan Consult and Nor Consult of Norway, and the UK based Scott Wilson. Tropical Consulting Engineering and Shebelle consult are the local firms for the task.

The funds for the studies, totaling 290 million birr, were a grant from the Norwegian government. The surveys are scheduled for completion in 27 months.

EthiopianReporter by WUDINEH ZENEBE

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