The long awaited construction of 12 water supply development projects worth over a billion Birr have been finalised and have become operational in four regional states, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity (MoWIE). The projects aim to benefit 600,000 people in the regions.
The projects are found in Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’, Amhara and Tigray regional states. They are part of 1.2 billion Br worth of 15 projects initiated six years ago by the then Ministry of Water & Energy.
Among the projects, seven of them, which are in Amhara and Tigray regional states, will be inaugurated on June 27 and 28, 2017.
The construction work for the water projects was initially awarded to Italian construction company, Matheoli JV. At that time, the company had agreed to complete the project in two years. It, however, managed to complete only 17pc of the project at the time it was asked to hand it over based on the contract agreement.
“This has forced us to terminate the contract,” said Bahiru W/Mariam, urban water supply desk coordinator at MoWIE.
The construction work of these water projects resumed two years after the termination in 2015 following the award of the projects to six local companies.
Wegeret Construction Plc, Abebe Negash Construction Company, NKH, GTB Engineering, United Construction Plc, Bigeta Business Plc and South Water Works Construction Enterprise have done the civil construction work for the projects.
Two consulting companies did the supervision work of all the projects.
Nicholas O’Dwyer Ltd, an Irish company, and the local company MS Consultancy were the companies that overlooked the projects, winning the bid issued for the consultancy project by MoWIE in 2015.
Of the seven water projects to be inaugurated on June 27 and 28, the biggest amount was invested in the Adigrat project, consuming 126.4 million Br. United Construction Plc completed the project in two years.
Among the 15 projects, two in SNNPR and the Dembi Dolo project in Oromia Regional State are still under construction by South Water Works Construction Enterprise and Bigeta Business Plc.
Except for the Dembi Dolo project, all of these projects are expected to be operational before the end of the current fiscal year.
Due to the complication of weather in the area, the Dembi Dolo project will not be completed before October 2017, said Bahiru.
A look at the source of funding for the projects, about 426.3 million Br was granted by the European Union (EU). Also, the European Investment Bank loaned the same amount of money for the project. And, the rest of the finance for the project is covered by the government.
Raising the provision of access to pure, safe and clean water in the country is the primary rationale why the EU granted the money for the projects, according to Massimo Bonannini, project manager of the EU delegation to Ethiopia.
The EU, the World Bank and the government confirm that water supply coverage in Ethiopia is on a steady upward trajectory. Water supply coverage has risen from 19pc in 1990 to 61pc in 2015/16.
This year, besides the completed 12 projects, the Ministry has completed the same water development projects in Jimma while four other projects are underway in Hawassa, Gonder, Meqelle and Dire Dawa cities.
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