Inhabitants around Genale-Dawa Hydropower Excited about Opportunities Created

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ENA,February 6/2020 Inhabitants around the recently inaugurated Genale-Dawa III Hydro-power said the project has opened immense opportunity for them, besides benefiting the country.

Genale-Dawa III hydropower project, which generates 254 MW, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this week.

Among the inhabitants residing around the dam, Abdi Haji told ENA that “the power project plays immense role in their lives in terms of road connectivity, irrigation, energy as well as job opportunity.”

He stated that there was no road that interconnected the surrounding communities. “We faced many challenges as we had to take long journey to reach markets and hospital as it is so far from our home.”

The problem is now fixed, the farmer said happily, adding that “ we can now easily access many places through roads.”

The 28.5 KM road that runs from Negele town to the project site, the 17 KM road from the main camp to the dam, as well as the 6.5 KM road linking the main camp with the power house help the local community to get social and economic services.

Furthermore, Abdi pointed out that the project is also instrumental in expanding irrigation and fishery development for the local communities in order to improve their livelihood and generate income.

The other resident, Roba Haji said “ this project is important for us in various ways.”

It creates jobs opportunity for the inhabitants, but the government needs to provide financial support for the youth who want to engage in fishery and irrigation development utilizing the lake, he added.

Another inhabitant, Kahlif Hussen said the project plays significant role in improving livelihood of local communities in fishery and irrigation development.

“Now, we are getting water easily which helps us to boost productivity through irrigation,” he added.

At the inaugural ceremony, the premier said the project would help boost the economic and linkage of Guji and Bale zones.

“If (farmers) in Bale and Guji zones use irrigation effectively, they have huge potential to feed all Ethiopians,” he stated.

According to Tewodros Hussen, representative of the deputy manager of the project, Genale-Dawa III hydropower project benefits the surrounding inhabitants in fishery development and  tourism.

The project has so far created jobs for about 3,000 youth, it was learned.

Genale is a perennial river with the chance of getting rains twice in a year in October and April, expecially around the area where the dam is situated.

The hydropower project was launched in 2010, and the 110 meter high and 426 meter long dam has the capacity to hold 2.5 billion cubic meters of water creating a huge man-made lake.