GERD's journey

04 Sep 2017

Part I

Historic records shed light on the fact that Ethiopia was one among the famous countries in the world. Yet for various detracting reasons it had hit the bottom line.

Recently with an all out move citizens have begun rolling their sleeve to root out poverty. Trends have begun to take a change for the better. Among the efforts underway by the government to uplift the country from the quagmire of poverty is found planning Mega projects and seeing to their translation into action.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is the salient among such flagship projects. It is a historic monument that made up for the grudge of the past generation of Ethiopia for failing to harness the country's bountiful gifts.

It is to be recalled that forefathers had managed to disgracefully chase out the invading Italian forces. Following the war it waged against poverty, this generation too has begun to emerge triumphant over poverty.

But,sad as it may sound,the former generations were short of money, human resource and technology to build a dam over Blue Nile. Those who believe might is right were pulling a string to discourage loan-giving hands from extending help to Ethiopians. And as such, as they had not developed their financial muscles and skilled human power, they were left with no other option than buckling under the pressure of such bent exercising quarters.

The victory of Adwa is a historic landmark to people of Ethiopia. After a century-long down slide, in a similar passion, people of Ethiopia have reasserted their aura of greatness bringing into play the GERD breaking loose from foreign-influence wrought diffidence. GERD is a living billboard that has helped them assure their sovereign prides.

Some historians emphasize that GERD is a watershed via which Ethiopians reaffirmed their invincible posture after sweltering under poverty,hunger,vicious cycle of drought for a century. That is after the victory of Adwa. A victory from which they should have derived equal profit. The main reason for the recent victory in form of development could be attributed to the chemistry nations,nationalities and people of Ethiopia began to display standing in unison. Ethiopians, who just got constitutional answer to their identity quest, as they did joining hands,hearts and heads during the battle of Adwa have brought into being GERD that help them surmount multifaceted challenges.

Nile represents a huge river basin that encompasses 11 countries. Among these countries Egypt and Sudan are referred the lower riparian countries.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Eritrea are referred the upper riparian countries. The upper riparian countries are sources of the water. The volume of water they contribute to the river differs. Ethiopia generates over 86 per cent of the water. The lower riparian countries do not contribute to the river. Over 400 million people live in the catchment area. Ten of the countries are marked for income below the poverty line. Problem of food security, famine,drought,soil erosion,flood characterizes them.

For example in Ethiopia alone every year over 1 billion tone of soil washed away finds its way to Sudan.

As the Blue Nile basin in Ethiopia covers 6 states and various rivers it is directly related with 2/3 development of the land. Blue Nile was roaring past washing away our fertile soil in Tigray, Amhara, Benishangul, Gambela, Oromia and South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State, For ages Ethiopians were shunned from the boon the river proferrs. Contrariwise, ironically the two lower riparian countries, tapping the river for development, they have managed to reap a handsome return. For instance in Egypt, which harnessed the river for agriculture, over 5 million people are involved in farming. These Egyptians produce rice, wheat, cotton, sugar, vegetable and fruits .Obviously therefore, people in the lower riparian countries lead a better life.

The knowledge and skill Ethiopians acquire from executing projects afford opportunity to compete and participate in similar projects in other countries. Hence, its economic significance is high as it opens a room for creating competent Ethiopians in the global arena. Seeing the light of day, when GERD becomes fully operational it will serve a reliable foreign currency generator. Apart from the local consumption, the dam enables Ethiopia to export about 3500 Megawat energy. The foreign currency that accrues from this will meaningfully support our economy.

( Source Baakaallya,Publication of Welayta Zone Culture and Truism ,Government Communication Affairs Office,

Original Article by Tadese Fole)





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