Second Filling of GERD Landmark for Ethiopians to Alleviate Energy Poverty: Water Expert

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Addis Ababa July 8/2021 (ENA) The second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a landmark event for Ethiopians as it enables the country to commence generating electric power critical to alleviating energy poverty in the nation, GERD negotiating team member Gedion Asfaw said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Water expert and GERD negotiator Gedion stated that

“the second filling of the dam is significant for Ethiopia as it enables the country to commence power generation by the two early generation units of the dam probably by August or September, 2021 since there will be sufficient water in the dam to generate power.”

By the completion of the second filling, together with the first filling, Ethiopia targets to store 18.4 billion cubic meters of water, he said, adding that “by that time we can also test the rest of the 11turbines for there is sufficient height in the dam to test the rest of the turbines.”

According to the expert, “this is really a landmark event for Ethiopians because what we need from this dam is not only the filling, the ultimate objective is to generate power and ultimately to generate energy to alleviate the existing power poverty in Ethiopia.”

About 60 percent of the population in Ethiopia live without electricity which also impacts basic services in the country.

“The Ethiopian people expected this filling schedule to follow the construction pace to achieve the goal because the construction and the filling are inseparable,” Gedion elaborated.  

He further stated that when the height of the dam increases the water in the reservoir increases.

Citing that the second filling is conducted in parallel with the construction process, the expert said “this has been clearly written in the Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries.”  

The countries (Egypt and Sudan) also know the fact that the construction and filling activities of the dam are inseparable, he pointed out.  

Thus the second filling is not a very peculiar event as the filling is being conducted based on the schedule agreed by the experts of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.

The second filling of GERD began this week.