June 16, 2020
Ethiopia says is preparation is underway for the first phase of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
According to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), forest clearing work will start this Thursday. Benishangul regional state is officially handing over the land needed for the filling phase of the dam.
The work is already contracted out to 45 enterprises. However, 25 other contractors are shortlisted if their service is needed to ensure that the clearing work is completed within the intended time frame.
Forest clearing part is said to cost the government about 33.1 Ethiopian Birr, and about six million birr is paid out in down payment.
One thousand hectares of land are prepared for the water catchment area of the dam, according to the report. The work will kick off starting next week.
The clearing project is expected to create temporary jobs for 1200 youth in the region.
Ethiopia is having a tripartite talk on the GERD. Ethiopia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew, does not seem to be optimistic about the negotiation. He told journalists on Tuesday that Egyptian interest in continuing monopoly over the Nile water creating an obstacle to the success of the negotiation.
However, Ethiopia is preparing to fill the dam starting July – the reason why forest clearing work is launching next week.
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