Universities Need Collaborative Intervention to Unleash GERD’s Multifaceted Potentials

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ENA November 19/2019 Universities need to collaborate to undertake in-depth research in a move to exploit the potential of fishery and tourism industry on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to Injibara University.

In an Exclusive interview with ENA, Injibara University President, Professor Berhanu Belay said universities should collaborate towards taping the exponential potential of the mega project.

GERD generating 15,760 Gigawatt hours (GWh) on completion is expected to act as stabilizing backbone of the Ethiopian national grid to fully support the development of the whole country and exporting energy to neighboring countries as a major trans-boundary benefit.

The volume of the reservoir will be two to three times that of Lake Tana which allows expecting abundant fish up to 7,000 tons of fish annually as well as the reservoir becoming a hotspot for tourism.

These universities can collaborate and look into as to how we can tap this resource in terms of fishery development and tourism. So the first thing is to do a kind of research, an assessment in terms of what kind of fish species is adoptable to that specific area,” Professor Berhanu stated.

Injibara University, established recently, did not have any initiative to explore the potential of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), he said, adding that “but we have a plan.”

“We have a plan that the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a resource in terms of fishery development, touristic value and very importantly job creation to the youth,” the University President noted.

According to him, universities with rich experience in some of the fields to exploit the potentials of the dam like Bahir Dar and Assosa Universities need to take the leading role.

“So Injibara University, being young, is ready to tap this natural resource in collaboration with Assosa and Bahir Dar Universities in addition to the locational advantage it has,” Berhanu said.

This is a very huge resource, he stated, and emphasized “we need to have a very integrated and multifaceted projects that address fishery, tourism, job creation and beyond.

To do this, the president suggested: “I believe that the government has to really give an initiative, give an assignment to universities which are located in that periphery and give funds and ask for deliverables.”  

Furthermore, Berhanu stated that GERD will also serve as a research site for universities with related fields of studies like, fishery, natural science, animal science and biology.

Saddle dam is a support dam constructed to confine the reservoir created by a primary dam either to permit a higher water elevation and storage or to limit the extent of a reservoir for increased effectiveness.