Sedimentation Seriously Affecting Irrigation Dams

By Mhret G/Kristos

ADDIS ABEBA – Sedimentation has become a serious issue for dams constructed for irrigation development in Ethiopia, said a top official.

Michael Mehari (Ph.D.), irrigation development commission commissioner, briefed officials and experts attending water week, the issue is seriously affecting the efficiency of the dams.

The commissioner also explains that dams whose water retention capacities’ are decreased annually as a result of sedimentation are Shina (1.67 %), Tebi (1.8 %), Selamok (2.3 %), and Anjeb (11.5).

The commission is now encouraging studies on how to improve the situation. “Irrigation is very important especially in a country like Ethiopia,” said Micheal, adding that the irrigation sector has major challenges that need studies to profoundly address them.

National irrigation shows Ethiopia plans to develop 124,000 hectares of land through modern irrigation and employ 30,000 fresh graduates.

The country hopes the sector could give remedy the increasing unemployment rate which is currently at 19.5%.

Irrigation is one of the sectors that can afford a huge amount of number employees in Ethiopia, said panelists from different private and government organizations who were gathered at the Water Week.

Ethiopia has 2.7 million hectares of land potential for irrigation but, failed to satisfy its food needs. The country still spends hundreds of million-dollar waste for wheat annually.