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Sudanese journalists visit Ethiopia’s Nile Dam

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 12, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – A group of Sudanese journalists on Monday paid a visit Ethiopia’s massive hydro power plant project which the horn of Africa’s country is building on Nile River.

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The US$1.5 billion Gibe III project dam is expected to generate 1870 MW of electricity.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tewolde Mulugeta, said the visit of the Sudanese media delegation to Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will create better understanding about the benefits of the mega project to downstream countries.

The 11 member team of Sudanese journalists have arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday where they were welcomed at Bole International Airport by government officials.

The aim of their visit, according to Mulugeta, is to witness the progress of the major development works undergoing at the dam project located in Benshangul Gumuz region near the Sudanese border.

Up on arrival at the site, the Sudanese media team was briefed about the massive dam by project manager, Engineer Simegnew Bekele.

Group members said that they have learnt the Dam has great benefits not only to Ethiopia but also to regional countries in supplying clean and cheap hydro-power processed energy.

They also said the mega project being built by Ethiopia’s own resources will have benefits to the basin countries in preventing over flooding, siltation and evaporation there by reducing water wastage.

“The construction of the dam considers shared benefits of the three countries Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt and the visit by the Sudanese journalists helps create awareness on the fact,” Tewolde said.

He said the visit will create better understanding about the affirmative effects of the dam to downstream countries.

The grand project will also help encourage closer people to people connection between the two nations, he added.

Khalid Thabit, leader of the Sudanese journalists’ team, to his side said the 11 journalists were drawn from two TV stations and over six newspaper publishers.

Khalid said their visit to the GERD project site will help them get first hand information about the current status of the dam and inform readers and viewers back home.

This is the third time for Sudanese journalists’ team to visit the dam project.
Officials say visit of Medias will have a crucial role in resolving misconception regarding the dam.

The dam project had been a source of dispute with down stream countries particularly with Egypt which fears the massive dam will eventually diminish its historic water rights.

The Sudanese journalists have also held discussion with concerned government officials.

Construction of the 4.2 billion dollar power project is currently at half-way mark and is slated for completion in 2017.

Up on completion, the dam which would be Africa’s largest will have 6,000 MW electric generation capacity.

In addition to power generation, the dam project will also be instrumental in fishery, tourism development and research purposes

(ST)

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