ADDIS ABABA – Authorities have agreed to pay more than 81 million birr to 500 enterprises tasked to clear areas covered with forest and make them ready for the second phase filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The second round of filling the Dam’s reservoir will go ahead as planned in the coming rainy season of Ethiopia, according to people in charge of the GERD project.
Activities including clearing the area that will be covered by the reservoir water are now underway.
Clearing of the forests will be carried out with an outlay of over 81 million Birr, according to Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State’s Technical and Vocational Job Creation Agency.
The agency has signed an agreement with Ethiopian Electric Power Agency this week.
The area to be cleared covers 4,854 hectares of land, the Agency’s Director-General, Beshir Abdurahim, told the state-run news agency – ENA.
He also said the work will be carried out by 500 enterprises that embrace more than 5,000 unemployed youth from all Woredas of the region.
Beshir said the clearing job would be finalized in one-month and it will be supported by GPS technology.
The country carried out the first round of filling the reservoir behind the dam last year.
Officials hope the dam, now more than three-quarters complete, will reach full power-generating capacity in 2023, helping pull millions of its people out of poverty.
Ethiopia sees the mega GERD project as crucial to its economic development.