Electric Rationing May End in ‘Few Weeks’

ADDIS ABEBA – Electricity rationing, which started on May 19, may end in a “few weeks”, says Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The government started to ration electricity for domestic and industrial customers after a drop in water levels in hydroelectric dams.

Prime Minister Abiy stated the drop in water level has led to a production deficit. The challenge especially at Gibe III hydroelectric dam, which produces up to 40 percent of electricity going to the national grid, has been severe, according to the PM.

The water level of its reservoir was decreased by 16 meters at the beginning of 2010 EC when compared to the same period of last year.

The expectation was to avert possible electric production deficit by filling the reservoir during Belg rainy season.

“That was not possible,” Abiy said, “and, therefore, the government has to start rationing electricity”.

However, Abiy said the ongoing rainy season is helping authorities fill the reservoir of the Dam at the moment.  The PM told lawmakers that the plan now is “to stop rationing electricity within few weeks”.

In the long run, the prime minister said, the private sector will have a major impact in filling in possible production deficit.
The government has recently opened up the sector for the private sector.

The PM also stressed on the need to work more on the reforestation effort to avoid such challenges in the long run.

Abiy concluded Monday’s parliament session by planting seedlings in the compound together with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives Tagesse Chafo.

On the day, the PM also announced the 200 million trees in day planting challenge for a Greener Legacy set for July 29th.