The government of Ethiopia to spend over $500 million for the construction of nine irrigation projects
Megech Irrigation Project being built with a cost of 5.9 billion Birr in Amhara region near the city of Gondar is expected to be completed at the end of this Ethiopian budget year, the Ethiopian Construction Corporation Works (ECCW) disclosed.
The government of Ethiopia has given a great deal of attention to the development of irrigation in a bid to increase agricultural productivity of the country.
Megech is one of the several other irrigation projects under construction with a financial budget allocated by the government of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation CEO, Yomnase Ayale told ENA that the project has a capacity to develop 17,000 hectares of land benefiting 45,000 local household farmers by enabling them to cultivate three times in a year.
The irrigation dam, whose construction was commenced in 2014, will hold 185 million cubic meters of water, he added.
It is also expected to provide clean drinking water to the inhabitants of Gondar and the surrounding community in addition to expanding irrigation farming in the area, the CEO stated.
According to him, the project performance had encountered delays due to a number of challenges including frequent design changes, shortages of construction supplies, and lack of efficient project management among others.
However, he said that the performance of project has now been drastically improving following the reform measures being taken by the corporation over the last two and three years to curb the challenges and complete the construction in a short period of time.
“Before the reform our annual performance was only 5 percent, however following the reform the annual performance has been increasing to 30 – 40 percent.”
According to the CEO, the overall construction of the irrigation dam has now reached 70 percent and expected to be completed at the end of this Ethiopian budget year.
Yomnase further explained that the irrigation dam will create an artificial lake that could be used as an additional tourist attraction to the city of Gondar which will also enhance the city’s image, and create more jobs for the local community.
Established in 2015, the Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation is a public enterprise engaged in construction activities, construction project management service, Dam and Irrigation Infrastructure Administration, among other construction sectors.
The government of Ethiopia has planned to construct nine irrigation projects with an outlay of 21 billion Birr in various parts of the country during this Ethiopian Fiscal year.
The irrigation schemes are expected to develop more than 125,000 hectares of land upon completion.