Cash-strapped Gerbi dam waits Eximbank’s rescue


A portable water harvest project the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) sought to develop on Gerbi river seats on the shelf as the fund required to start the construction is not obtained. The authority finalized study of the project last year.
The dam which will be constructed on Gerbi River, located in North East of Addis Ababa and a tributary of Abay River, has an estimated capacity of generation for 20 years. And it has a capacity to generate 73,000 metric cube water per day. The project is expected to take three up to five years to be constructed and has an estimated cost of 1.5 billion birr.
Tesfalem Bayu, Projects Manager of AAWSA told Capital that the Chinese Eximbank received the detail proposal of the dam but it has not yet approved the loan yet.
“We have finished the detailed study of the dam and we are searching a finance to commence the construction. We are expecting to obtain part of the money from loan that is expected to be secured from Eximbank.’’
The manager, however, declined to give a perspective how much the government will dedicate for the  project.
AAWSA is also going to call a tender for detail study of Sibilu dam, another project on its assignment list, which will be erected on Sibilu River. 
The dam will have a capacity to generate 480,000 cubic meter of water per day and with this additional capacity interruption in water supply could be totally stamped out, according to the authority’s forecast. 
“Sibilu will be one of the dams that solely serve Addis Ababa. We are looking for a consultant who would make design of the dam and after that we will know how much money and time it will consume” said Tesfalem.
AAWSA also announced that an additional 114,000 cubic meters water is added in to the city’s provisions with a 1.8 billion birr  loan from Eximbank. The added volume increases total supply of water to the city to 464,000 cubic meters per day. The project will be officially inaugurated today March 8, in the presence of high government officials.
The additional capacity is feed by 24 wells that were dug in Akaki to generate 70,000 cubic meters per day.
The latest increase in AAWSA’s water supply capacity can ease the thirst for water by the metropolitan to some degree.
An additional 206,000 meter cubic water is needed to meet Addis Ababa’s daily demand of 670,000 cubic meters of potable water.
The development and enhancement project was supervised by Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise.
Tesfalem said that excavation of 19 wells is in the pipeline at the ground water harvest site in Akaki with a one billion birr fund secured from the World Bank. Currently, Addis Ababa sustains itself on the four sites- Legadadi, Dire, Gefersa Dams and the Akaki Wells.