Kesem Dam Irrigation Project Sees Completion
The Kesem DamConstruction and Irrigation Project which is 99 per cent through is expected to become fully operational soon.
The project site is located in Afar State, about 800 m above sea level and 237 km away to the north east of Addis Ababa. The site is flanked by the banks of Kesem River.
The dam which is the first of its kind in the country, is 1,096 meters long and 7,18l wide with a capacity of half billion cubic meter of water and capable of irrigating more than 20,000 hectares of land.
Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise Kesem Project Representative Engineer Getu Mola said that now that the construction of Kesem Dam is almost through, what is left is the finalization work of building structures for irrigation. The project life span is estimated to be 50 to 60 years. Till it got fully operational it will consume a total production cost of 2.6 billion Birr, he added.
The dam project is expected to benefit local residents through creating job opportunities. Apart from creating job opportunities, the dam reservoir affords drinking water to residents of the locality. Fishery could also be practiced on the dam, Getu added.
Water Woks Construction Enterprise Project Process Owner, Jigsa Deyesa on his part said that the dam is not meant only for sugar cane development, it will cater for the drinking water need of the local people. “The topography was very challenging. It was tasking us to conduct more than two million cubic metres of soil filling activities,” he added.
He also said that even if the project has been a protracted one, the final outcome was very much rewarding.
The project, which began in 1997 E.C, has created job opportunities for about 2,500 to 3,000 Ethiopians posted at different parts of the project, depending on the season. It was learnt that the target set in the GTP for the irrigation development is increasing from 2.4 per cent in 2002 E.C to 15.4 per cent by the end of the 2007 E.C, the end of the GTP period. It is to be learnt that the irrigation coverage of the country was 127,242.6 hectares of land when the GTP kick started. In the course of the GTP period, the coverage is expected to spiral up to 785,582.6 hectares of land.