THE largest hydropower project in Africa, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is set to be operational by 2023 as per the reschedule. According to Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Seleshi Bekele, following the successful completion of the first round filling, second filling is going to be held during the coming rainy season-on July 2021.
According to the minister, construction of GERD has reached 78.3 percent and it is expected to be completed up to 82 percent until the upcoming rainy season. ‘Ethiopia is keenly working on completing the construction of GERD by 2023 and considering the dam as water security threat is unfounded and unscientific.
The overall construction of the dam has seen rapid development following the swift measures taken by the reformist administration to ensure professionalism. The administrative adjustments have solved the most critical problems related to decision making and follow-up system,’ he said.
He further added that, the new administration and the board jointly with the Ministry and Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) have solved the factors that led for the delay of the construction before the reform in 2018. Solving the major problems, undertaking continuous follow-up, assessment and evaluation has enabled the country to return the process of the construction of the massive power plant on the right truck.
Most secure and safe dam project on the Nile
The minister further affirmed that GERD is the most secure and safe dam of all projects that have been built on the Nile River. ‘For me, GERD is being constructed with modern and sound technology, latest materials and precision. In addition, GERD is a water bank for the downstream countries. The problem with these countries is neither a technical issue nor fear of water shortage but misconception of considering Ethiopia’s development as a threat. However, GERD is the most helpful project for them by any criteria,’ said Bekele.