By Zeray Hailemariam
Ethiopia commemorated the sixth year foundation of the biggest in Africa and the eighth biggest Dam in the world which is built in the world longest river Nile River.
The Dam which is estimated to cost 4 billion USD and commenced by the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is reported to have been constructed 24 hours for the last five years. The Dam is expected to make Ethiopia a power hub of the East and North African countries as it will generate over 6450 Mega Watt of power. Its contribution in the fight against climate change is also beyond words too.
Ethiopia has done everything possible to support African countries in their decisive struggle they had made to break out of colonialism. By defeating Italian invading forces that came to take their share of colony during the scramble of Africa, Ethiopia stood practically that Africa’s states could win against colonization
Expectedly, African brothers always are proud of Ethiopia’s commitment to remain independent and its symbol of ‘We can’ mentality.
When the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi initiated the commencement of the Africa’s biggest and 8th largest Dam, he rightly equated it with the Adwa Victory where Ethiopia devastated foreign colonizers in 1888. Thus, the Dam created a sense of ‘We can’ mentality among the 100 millions of Ethiopians. The Dam situated some 20 KM away of the border of the Sudan will have 145 meter high, 1, 780 meter length when it is fully completed.
The 50 percent of the power generated from it is already allocated to export to Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt and Tanzania. The construction activity of the Dam has reached 60 percent and is expected to commence power generation in the next two years.
The psychological and inspiring benefit the Dam would discharge is enormous that could not be described verbally. Among others, it has created the sense of ‘We can’ mentality and strong unity among the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples. It has also created strong unity among the various political elites of Ethiopia towards keeping the Dam and the state from external and internal sabotages.
Furthermore, it has completely changed the image of the country globally that today’s Ethiopia is different from the past. It is a testimony that Ethiopia is in the right direction to beat poverty and continue to be a pride of Africans. Besides, it is expected to connect economically and politically the 11 riparian countries, hence, creating political, economic and security cooperation as well in the region to take roots. Diplomatically speaking, it is about to alter the age old antagonistic nature of the whole region into peaceful and mutual benefit based on mutual trust order. It is also part of the globalization process where it is positioned to make the scattered world one small village.
Therefore, it could be summarized that the Dam is about to connect the region economically and politically ensuring a mutual development by altering the past mutual destruction mentality of the whole region. It is also in favor of security cooperation and against any country attempting to destabilize the region.
First and for most, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is scientifically in a position to lift millions of citizens at home from poverty. The power would fundamentally transform country’s fast economic growth which needs massive power support, 25 percent in every year. The countryside would abandon cutting trees for fuel and environmental degradation will recover. Interestingly, the climate change will surrender, at least in the whole region. Accordingly, the booming industry, manufacturing and others sectors could be maintained since it timely get electricity. Hence, power interruption which seriously frustrated the sectors will remain controlled. The huge billion dollars that would be gained from power export will increase Ethiopia’s export revenue dramatically, thus reducing foreign currency dependency drastically.
When completed, the man-made lake would sleep in areas that cover 240 km back of the river. The lake besides altering the ever degrading environment into green forest covered area, considerable fishers can earn money which will be part of the national plan to ensure food security and make poverty history.
So far, more than 317 foreigner professionals, 10, 355 Ethiopians are confronting 24 hours to realize the much awaited Dam. More than, 2,300 various types of machineries are on duty which indicates that the technology transfer, engineering knowledge to build such complex huge Dam to be beyond word.
Scholars advise that the Dam enables Ethiopia to export massive wheat production and electricity to the region to ensure power shortage and food security which are serious problems in the whole region.
It is public knowledge that more than 14.3 billion cubic meter water is lost in Aswan Dam in Egypt, and 3.5 billion cubic meters in Sudan Dam while the two countries never contribute a glass of water into the Nile River loose 19 billion water annually.
However, the dam being built in Ethiopian gorges is expected to lose 0.4 billion cubic meters water annually in evaporation only, thus, contributing to save water of the Nile River hugely unlike the down countries.
The Dam is among the major mega projects which prove that Ethiopia is making history. Ethiopia has now committed towards economic integration of the region. The power export, the railways, roads, and airways connecting the neighboring countries are practical exemplaries.
In summarizing, the Dam surely boosts huge investment, tourism, agricultural productivity, and it increases the manufacturing and industry sector by injecting power generation. Also, immensely, it has an impact on creating a sense of ‘We can’ and unity among Ethiopians towards harmony and prosperity. Its contribution towards strong unity locally and regionally is verbally impossible to explain.
Besides, it interconnects the volatile region of the region economically and diplomatically, hence creates interdependence which deters insecurity. As far as my best knowledge, promoting regional cooperation and reducing mutual destruction is at the core policies of Ethiopia. It is also part of country’s commitment against the ever growing climate change which is devastating the efforts of human being globally. This can be evident in the activities it has been executing so far.
However, it will be naïve for Ethiopians to realize the much awaited game changer Dam without saving the nation from internal and external sabotages. The Government should maintain the spirit of Ethiopian unity manifested in realizing the Dam and repeat in another projects too.
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