Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has inaugurated the US $41m Gidabo irrigation dam built between Oromia and Southern region of Ethiopia West Guji zone in Sidama Zone in Southern area.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Prime Minister said that inaugurating the dam was part of the government’s commitment of ensuring food security through the development of vast areas of agricultural land.
“We need more of such irrigation dams to produce and feed wheat instead of fighting each other. The country should focus on what it already has such water, arable land and labor, instead of trying to industrialize using external loan and aid,” said Abiy Ahmed.
The Gidabo irrigation dam
The Gidabo irrigation dam, constructed by Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise and Ethiopian Prefabricated Building Parts Production Enterprise, is set to be 28.68 meters and has 62.5 meter cube capacity and 335 meters length. It can create 1,200 hectares artificial lake and irrigate over 13,400 hectares of land in Oromia and Southern regions of the country.
Launched nine years ago, Gidabo irrigation dam has cost the country over US $41 mainly because of design revision, which increased the irrigation capacity from 7,000 hectares to 13,000 hectares. The investment includes installation of over 7 kilometers of concrete canal.
The dam project will also have multi-purposes including for fishing and tourism, adding those more than 10,000 farmers and over 192,000 youth job seekers to benefit from the new irrigation scheme. This in return will generates income to an addition to 10, 850 households engaged in farming and agro-pastoralists.
PM Abiy also stressed similar irrigation projects, that will link people of two different regions (Oromia and Southern region), to be replicated to strengthen bondage between the people
Since 1960, Ethiopia has constructed more than 35 dams for hydro power, irrigation, drinking water, fishing and flood control. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which is being built on the river Nile, with the generating capacity of over 6,000MW of electricity, and is expected to be completed in 2022.