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Ethiopia set to commission its constructed Gibe III dam

Ethiopia is set to boost its electricity generation following plans to commission the constructed Gibe III dam.

The US$1.5 billion Gibe III project dam is expected to generate 1870 MW of electricity. The ministry of water, irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) says three turbines are ready to start operating.

The Gibe III dam will initially produce 500 Mega Watts by New Year.

The constructed Gibe III Dam project is set to improve the economy of Ethiopia that is struggling to supply enough electricity to factories, schools, hospitals and markets.

However, International advocacy groups have criticized Gibe III. They say it will negatively affect the survival of the world’s largest desert lake- Lake Turkana. Additionally the dam will displace thousands of semi-nomadic tribal people in southern Ethiopia and northwest Kenya.

But  Ethiopian Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy Mr Alemayehu Tegenu who recently addressed the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Rome has denied that the constructed dam has any negative environmental impacts.

He says the drying up of lake Turkana is not related to the hydro dam and is rather the result of land degradation of the eco-system around the lake.

Previously, Gibe III had missed several deadlines to commence power generation due to shortage of funds.

The project is set to boost Ethiopia’s electricity production to about 4200 MW

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