The status of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at every level is a cause of concern for each and every Ethiopian,’ media community hailed.
Private and public mass media practitioners and development communicators who visit the GERDP shared their feelings in their exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald.
Having expressed that he has visited the dam a year ago and is visiting it for the second time, Biniyam Diriba, from Addis Ababa Communication Affairs Bureau, told this reporter as he observed that the dam has shown incredible progresses within a year. As to him, the dam has, now a complete structure of a dam which gave the area a special beauty.
Its civil works are already finalized and the engineering parts are as well rising steadily, he noted. As to Biniyam the commitment to complete the dam is the other side he was impressed by practically at the site. “I could learn that all the machinery used to generate power are being installed. I did not see such activities in my previous visit, so this shows us how dam is being accelerated,” he accentuated.
The previous history of Ethiopia was quite complex and the country has been, as a result identified by hunger and famine; but, now the international community is being surprised to see that poor nation awakened from such a deep sleep and constructing such a dam, he reiterated.
“I personally believe that this dam is the outcome of our diplomacy. I always tell to myself that we are constructing the dam because we have to. There is something that the river speaks out” he said.
Biniyam told this reporter that he is proud with what he has been contributing so far and would keep contributing till the finalization of the dam. As to him, no developed nation could reach to the status it has today without the contribution of its citizens. The contribution of Chinese citizens has made today’s China and the same is true to Japan, South Korea etc., he stressed. “So, I am really proud to be part of this history and no earthly power can stop me from being by the side of the construction of this dam,” he underlined.
Ethiopia and Ethiopians are now becoming role models to the world in general and Africa in particular and this would also serve as a great lesson to the Nile basin countries, he mentioned.
Kiram Tadesse, program producer, Afro FM who visited the dam for the first time on his part said that the GERDP is a game changing mega project in various aspects. The project has been set with a lot of public mobilization and sensitization as well as greater sense of ownership unlike any other national agenda, he signified. “At this very stage, the project has been reported to have reached well over half to its completion. I believe the status of the project at whatever level is a cause of concern for every Ethiopian as well, so all Ethiopians keenly follow each of the activities of the dam and it is their right too.” he asserted.
As to him, he does not, however think that many of them have a clear picture of the project. Considerable number of people could be subjected to rumors and inaccurate information,” he voiced. As said by him, the more the completion time keeps delaying, the more things would go much into assumptions. “I believe that development communicators and media practitioners should have a clear and much better understanding about the project. That in turn would enable them convey accurate and unbiased information at home and abroad,” he commented.
In the interim Seifeselassie Endale, camera person, J television who visited the dam for the first time told the Ethiopian Herald that the dam is almost on its last phase. And he said that it is the very pleasing part for him. The media practitioners will now feed the society with a clear and tangible firsthand information thereby clear up those confusions propagated here and there. He added that he, as a camera person has taken various footages with his camera to show how great achievement the project to Ethiopians and the region is. What I have been hearing and watching so far is quite different from what I, now, saw practically at the site, he told this reporter. As to Seife, he has been even hearing some rumors that the construction has stopped. “I was expecting to see a dam whose construction was started and stopped at some point. But what I experienced here at the site is contrary to that. I could understand that its internal works such as the mechanical and engineering works are being finalized. The same is true- its electrical works are being carried out. So, I hope the media will convey the facts thereby clear up the misconceptions,” he remarked.
On the other hand, Iyasu Solomon, press and public relations head of Addis Ababa City Administration office of the mayor, who visited the dam for the second time said that the majority of the journalists have visited the dam for the first time. As to him, he could, personally notice that almost all of them are very pleased with what they experienced at the site.
As per Iyasu, the GERD would enhance regional and continental integration away from its role in solidifying the internal unity and economic growth of Ethiopians. Besides that it would also play a pivotal role in promoting the nation’s positive image among many other benefits. “It is really an honor to take part in this historic project. Whenever I come here, I always feel something new. In a nutshell, the dam will have multifaceted advantages that is why we care for it like our eyes. In this regard, all Ethiopians have the same stance irrespective of all possible challenges here and there,” he stated.
Behabtu Tesema, senior reporter, Addis Ababa communication bureau who visited the dam for the second time said that the life style of Ethiopians now a days is getting changed. And cities are expanded, he added “Now it is unthinkable to generate power by using fire woods as usual,” Behabtu heightened.
As to Behabtu, the GERD is of multidimensional importance far beyond what the government thinks.
Berhanu Woldesemayat, program producer, Walta Media and Communication on his part told The Ethiopian Herald that he visited the dam for the second time. He said that he is highly surprised when he saw the progresses within 2 years after his first visit. He told this reporter that he could verify that the dam is almost on the verge of being finalized. “I have seen on our way to the dam that the installation of the electric lines is already finalized,” he remarked.
Girma Lema, from Yekatit 12 hospital medical college, emergency and critical care nurse specialist, who visited the dam for the first time said that the dam has quite lots of untold features in its interior part. What is out there is not only a dam, there are also many other side development activities behind it, so, the media has a lot to do in this regard, he indicated.
The vist was organized by Addis Ababa City Administration GERD Coordination Office