Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: Reigniting the passion

April 5, 2019 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Alem Hailu G/Kristos



When citizens close ranks to engage in a developmental thrust that could allow them the amenities of modern life breaking away from a tattered economy, there will be no logjams they fight shy to surmount.


Roadblocks like bickering that crop up from misunderstanding could not daunt them from circumventing challenges and achieving envisaged goals, for hurdles of the aforementioned nature could be redressed through discussions.


Posing blockades, untrammeled corruption may conspire with other frictions to strangulate the push forward, for improprieties have a mood-dampening effect.


Skill gaps and financial shortages could also pose a challenge on the fight to reshape one’s fate engaging in a developmental feat.


In unblocking such bottlenecks the role of the media is indispensible. Media outlets could play a paramount role in streamlining the outlook of citizens and mobilizing them for action. They could also draw the attention of the government towards gaps that need immediate remedial action, in addition to drawing to light inactions that beg for corrective measures.


After the corruption-related setback Ethiopia’s flagship project the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) experienced, the astounding zeal of citizens towards adding a brick to the construction of the dam is seen to be making a nose dive.


While government employees were bolstering the developmental feat deducting from their modest income against the teeth of rising inflation, university students skipping their breakfasts and children saving from pocket money, sad and tragic as it may sound, irresponsible and fatuous officials were siphoning the finances intended to irrigate the project. The latter were brain birds to the extent of forgetting to remind themselves they were cutting the branch on which they sat. This was a sad episode for the nation had vested great hope in the project whose boons were believed to benefit countries in the Horn. At this juncture it is important to emphasize that supporting the project is allowing a green light to the sought after regional integration.


As things have got back on track after the reform effected by the radical leaders who want to mend wrong turns, citizens must resume their contribution with added zeal. To rekindle this passion, journalists have to redouble their efforts. This was what was stressed in a recent workshop.


Furnishing it with the necessary equipment such as portable generators, efforts are underway to make the dam generate power by December next year. According to calculation, it is believed that at its initial stage the dam could cover the current electric demand of Addis Ababa. Hence, the project could at least cover its own power consumption.


Bumping up its agricultural yields both in quality and quantity via modern irrigation, the country is aiming at feeding its agro-processing industries that mushroomed in the country in a bid to realize its leap from an agriculture-led economy to an industry-led one. Needless to say, the country needs as much energy as it could get as electricity is the life blood of industrialization.


In groups paying homage to the dam as before and producing documentaries, it is possible to once more galvanize society for action. Also the role of Artists in mobilizing citizens towards supporting the dam is not out of the question. The dramas theatre houses these days stage have the theme of avoiding fracases and forging unity. That is good and timely. They should pick the issue of the dam directly or by way of a side talk.





Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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