ADDIS ABABA (HAN) May 10.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Solomon Mekonnen. Recently the capital city of Ilu Aba Bor Zone, Metu has hosted a biggest gathering ever as the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) Trophy, which is the hope and pride of all Ethiopian’s made its way in the town.

This prestigious gift, the GERD Trophy was given to Ethiopian People’s five years ago by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The aim is to generate income for the dam through organizing different programs in connection to tour of the GERD Trophy.

The last five year’s billions of Birr have been collected for GERD while the Renaissance Dam Trophy was toured across different states of the country. The trophy recently was taken from Amhara State and transferred to Oromia State during the 10th Nations,Nationalities and People’s Day celebration at Gambella State on December 9, 2015.

The trophy is expected to rotate across Oromia for a period of a year up to the upcoming 11th Nations,Nationalities and People’s Day that will be hosted in Harar by the Harari State.

The trophy has commenced it’s journey before two weeks to Metu Town , the capital of Ilu Aba Bor Zone. Oromia State Chief Muktar Kedir was among top government officials who have attended handover ceremony at Metu stadium. Chief handovers the trophy to Ilu Aba Bor Zone Administrator.

Konjit Nasir is a resident of Dalibo woreda in the zone. She is among the people who have gathered at Metu stadium to attend the celebration of GERD Trophy. She expressed her gratitude for being part of the history making generation. “I am very glad to see the historical trophy. I have been supporting the dam through bond buying and will continue to do so until finalization,” she added.

Konjit said that the realization of the project is ground breaking news for it would have incalculable role in building the new, strong and prosperous Ethiopia. “We all need to strengthen our support so as to realize the full completion of the Dam. So far I have bought bond twice from my monthly salary and 1000 bond in the name of my kids,” she said.

Yasin Ahmed is another resident of Metu town. He makes his living by trading. He told this reporter that he begun his support from the day one the construction of the dam was commenced.

He said, “So far I have bought a bond spending 30, 000 birr and I am ready to buy another bond by 10,000 birr in connection to this trophy. My support will never cease until completion and the public at large also need to contribute their share.”

Oromia State Chief Muktar Kedir called on the public to sustain support for the construction of the GERD as the GERD Trophy has arrived last Tuesday in Ilu Aba Bor Zone of the State.

Speaking at the launch of the State tour of the GERD Trophy, Muktar said that the Dam is a cornerstone for the realization of the Ethiopian renaissance. Hence, he said people in the State need to continue their support for this grand project. The Dam is so unique for Ethiopian’s since it is a manifestation of commitment and dedication, thus people in the State need to do everything they can towards realization of GERD , he said.

Ilu Aba Bora Zone Administrator Shafi Oumar on his part said that the tour of the GERD Trophy would help mobilize the public to increase participation and contribution for the Dam construction. It is a unique opportunity for the residents of Ilu Aba Bora to renew their commitment to the Dam construction, he added.

State Grand Renaissance Dam Construction Public Mobilization Coordination Office Director Aman Ali on his part said that people in the State have actively been participating since the launch of the project including through bond purchase and donation.

According to him, over a billion Birr has so far been collected. Some 500 million Birr would be collected during the tour of the GERD Trophy across the State in one year time. The contribution of government public servants is incalculable. They have paid every sacrifice they can to support the Dam. The farming community and pastoral’s have also contributing their best. The farming community particularly have played their role in doing watershed management so that the Dam wouldn’t be affected by salutation problem, Aman added.



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