Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Second-Filling of GERD: Top Govt Officials Congratulate Ethiopians

ADDIS ABABA – Top government officials, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have extended today a congratulatory message to Ethiopians over the completion of the second year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or GERD’s reservoir.

Ethiopia announced the successful completion of the second-phase filling on Monday, July 19, 2021.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said “congratulations on the completion of the second” filling of the GERD, its construction is now more than 80% complete.

The PM also said Ethiopia will continue to move onward resiliently.

Generating electricity

The multi-billion dollar Dam has currently stored 13.5 billion cubic meters of water, swelling its reservoir to 18.4 billion cubic meters.

“The next milestone for GERD construction is to realize the early generation in the next few months. Congratulations to the people of Ethiopia,” said Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

The filled process was completed within a few weeks as a result of the extreme rainfall in the Abbay Basin (Blue Nile Basin).

This has given the dam a capacity to run its two turbines and commence electricity generation.

“We have exerted a lot of effort to get to where we are now,” said Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Ethiopia, in a statement.

“The focus has now directed towards achieving our goal to generate electricity within a few months using the two turbines,” he said, congratulating Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia on the latest accomplishment.

‘A triumphant day’

Federal army chief of staff, General Birhanu Jula, also joined the three officials in congratulating the public on Monday.

Ethiopians have worked with high commitment and cooperation to bring the dam to its current level, Gen Birhanu said, adding “today is a unique triumphant day for all Ethiopians.”

Noting that Ethiopia has no intention of harming any other country, he pointed out that the filling of the dam has demonstrated this in practice.

The army chief also told a state run Ethiopian news agency that the National Defense Forces are in a stronger position than ever before to defend the country’s development projects from any provocative acts.

When fully operational, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will become the largest hydro-electric plant in Africa, providing power to some 65 million Ethiopians, who currently lack a regular electricity supply.