Ethiopia: Gidabo Dam nears fruition

07 February 2018

The Gidabo Irrigation Dam, constructed at an estimated cost of 1.1 billion Br and reaching 97pc completion, will begin operations within two months.

The Dam has a capacity of 63 million cubic metres of water and stands 21.2 m tall and is 350m wide. Its initial completion was expected within two years of construction, beginning 2010.

“The completion period was modified after the need to redesign the Dam to fully utilise Gidabo river’s potential as well as increase the Dam’s capacity,” according to Abdulfetah Taju, project manager of the dam.

Aside from improving its capacity, the new design saw the addition of two channels on 1,050ha close to the Borena and Sidama zones. One channels water to zones in the Oromia Regional State, while the other to the Southern Nations, Nationalities & People’s Regional State (SNNPR).

The Dam that will irrigate 27,043ha of land, 60% of which lie in the Oromia Regional State.

Recurrent rainfall that fills the Gidabo river, delayed relocation of the residents and a second-time soil study were some of the other reasons that deterred the project from early completion.

The decision to increase the amount of land to be cultivated as well as geological problems also caused the delay.

When the Dam becomes operational, it will be the ninth to have been completed by the Corporation, with another one costing 3.7 billion Br, Rib Dam, under construction since its establishment three years ago.

Once the Dam starts operations, it is expected to contribute to fish production from the artificial lake that will be formed. It will also help farmers in Borena and Sidama areas become productive throughout the year cultivating different cereals, according to Abdulfeta.

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