Tendaho dam, irrigation project implementation progressing well

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Addis Ababa, 18 December 2013 (WIC) - The implementation of the Tendaho Dam and Irrigation Project launched in Afar State is now well in progress as 90 per cent of the required construction materials are fulfilled.

Project Manager Eng. Abraham Berhe told members of the Natural Resource and Environmental Affairs Standing Committee of the House of Peoples' Representatives during a recent visit to the area that the Dam will have a capacity to develop 60,000 hectares of land.

The stated area of land will be developed by using 1.86 billion cubic meters water harnessing the Awash River. Some 50,000 hectares of the stated area will be covered with sugarcane and the remaining for fodder development. The execution of the irrigation project, which has a capacity to develop 25,000 hectares of land, is expected to be finalized next June.

Upon completion, the project is expected to create jobs for up to 60,000 citizens, Eng. Abraham said.

Water, Irrigation and Energy State Minister Eng. Wondimu Tekle on his part said the Tendaho and Kesem projects were launched with the objective of developing and supplying sugarcane for the Tendaho Sugar Factory.

Eng.Wondimu said the projects were designed to meet the local demand for sugar thereby enabling the country to earn foreign currency from export through realizing the GTP. They are also aimed at enabling the public in the area benefit from irrigation development, he added.

The State Minister also stressed the need to further strengthen ongoing efforts to overcome capacity limitations related to designing and construction works in the country.

Water Works Design and Control Deputy Manager Kassahun Lulseged also said that the project includes construction of water distribution centers, reservoirs and troughs as well as laying of water pipelines mainly in 14 villages in Aysaita, Dubti, Mille and DetBahri. So far, work in six villages has been finalized, he added.

The construction of social service facilities, residential units, alleys and flood prevention schemes, among others, is nearing completion. Seven institutions, which include primary schools, health facilities, flour mills and training centres will be constructed in the villages, he said.

Standing Committee Vice Chairperson Dr. Gemeda Dinegde on his part said executives of the project have undertaken activities to fill gaps identified in the implementation of the project last year. Hence, implementation of the project is picking up.

Gaps in undertaking integrated activities in collaboration with stakeholders and failure to address social problems as well as provide the necessary information on the project to the public, among others, were identified as weaknesses in project implementation.

Dr. Gemeda also pledged increased support both by the committee and the government for the success of the project thereby achieving the development plans of the country, Dr. Gemeda said. Afar is located 558-kms away from Addis Ababa.



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