Ethiopia’s Water Minister Hold Talks with GERD Contractors

ADDIS ABABA – Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, has held talks with contractors involved in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project on Monday.

The Ministry said the contractors presented an integrated work schedule report on the project during the meeting.

Seleshi also provided directions to the contractors after hearing the report, said the ministry in a brief statement.

On Sunday, Water Minister Seleshi briefed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the filling and operation of the dam.

“The briefing included key points on hydrology of the river, filling timelines, procedures for ‘drought threshold’, mitigation of drought,  and the coordination mechanisms,” said the PM Office.

Most of these points were a subject of a trilateral ministerial meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in Washington last week.

The dam – 70 percent complete – is the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, with a projected capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts.

Filling the reservoir behind the dam is due to start in July, though construction has been hit by delays.

The first stage of the filling process is expected to take two years and bring the water level in the reservoir to 595 meters out of an eventual 632 meters.