Allegations against Welkait sugar project fictitious, says Chief of Tigray
Addis Ababa, July 16 (WIC) - Chief Administrator of Tigray Regional State, Abay Woldu, said the allegations against Welkait Sugar Development Project are fraudulent claims intended to deter development in the region.
In an exclusive interview with WIC, Abay said the allegations that the project will affect Waldiba Monastery and the communities around the project site are baseless.
The project doesn’t utilize the land and affect the spiritual peace of the monastery because no activities of the project are being carried out inside the territory of the monastery, he said.
“The allegations emanated from misunderstanding the importance of the project, or lack of information about the reality in the project site, or from those people that have hidden political agenda,” he said.
The allegations against forced relocation in some Kebeles near the project site are all unfounded as no forced relocations have been made in the area, he said.
“Mutual understanding on the importance of the project has been reached following the frequent discussions made with the residents around the site and the Waldiba Monastery communities,” Abay said.
Additional discussions will be undertaken whenever necessary as the government employs democratic means of resolving any misunderstanding, he said.
The Welkait sugar development project, which is one of the ten sugar factories to be built in the five-year GTP period, will bring multi-faceted benefits for the people of the region, he said.
The project will help farmers to increase their productivity by carrying out irrigation activities in addition to creating jobs for a number of people, he said.
He further indicated that the artificial lake created by the dam on Zarema River will offer an opportunity for the residents to engage in small scale irrigation and fish farming, he said.
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