I followed the interview Meles Zenawi gave to an Ethiopian audience this past week. For the question of making Ethiopia an exporter of power while domestic power shortage including the capital Addis Ababa, the answer he gave and caught my ear was the completed Tekeze Dam a year ago which is still not operational.
The completed Tekeze Dam reservoir is too low to generate power accodring to Meles. If we build the dam based on hydrological study of the area dry seasons will force a lower capacity. The other reason might also be a grander structure for political reason and if that is the case we will never have enough discharge to fill the dam to its capacity. The truth will be known on the coming year or years.
Unaccountable regime like Meles Zenawi do not take responsibility for the cost of such huge projects. If this huge dam never to be operational because of lack of water the cost will be for poor Ethiopians since it was built with foreign loan. If the catchment area of the dam is deforested as many believe it is not only we will have shortage of water but we will have unavoidable silt problem.
We have silt problems affecting dams in Ethiopia and the Awash Dam which was built more than fifty years ago is at the end of its life mainly because of silt problem but Tekeze is the first dam in Ethiopia not to be operational for lower reservoir capacity on its first anniversary.