Irrigation dev’t vital to build resilience against drought, says President

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Addis Ababa February 17/ 2016 President Mulatu Teshome has emphasized on the need to maintain irrigation development activities to build resilience against drought affecting the pastoral community.

Irrigation development activities play an immense role in offering a long-term solution to drought and transition pastoralists into semi-pastoralists, Dr. Mulatu remarked while briefing journalists about his visit to the state of Afar.

He urged all concerned to work in integration to expedite the delayed construction work on Sunuta Sprinkler Irrigation Project in Iwa district of the state which he visited.

According to Belay Zegeye, General Manager for project consulting company, limited supply of construction inputs, challenging work and weather conditions of the environ are among contributors for the delayance of the project which was launched in 2012, covering two thousand hectares of land.

With the gradual resolution of the problem, civil works of the project have been finalized with complete installation of electromechanical works capable of developing up-to a thousand hectares.

However, so far only 250 hectares of land have been developed due to erratic supply of electric power. The project's progress now stands at 97 per cent.

The General Manager indicated that the project was originally estimated to cost only 180 million birr with a six-month completion time.

However, the planned budget of 180 million soared to 600 million with extended period of completion. The project was originally designed to benefit more than four thousand pastoralists through sprinkler irrigation.