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“Promised for Change”

Wada Engineering project is Published on Jun 10,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 893] of  Addis Fortune news publication

Located in Gulele District, Yemariam River is one of six rivers which were targeted to be refurbished by the City’s River & Riversides Development Project Office. The office spent 16 billion Br to build a terrace and drainage system in the area.

The revitalization of Yemariam River, located around Qechene, Gulele District, by the Addis Ababa River & Riversides Development Project Office has been completed with a cost of 16 million Br. This helps the office realise its first ever project since it became operational two years ago.

The project will be inaugurated before the end of this month in the presence of city administration cabinet members, according to the management of the project office.

The River, which travels to Aba Samuel River in Aqaqi District on the outskirts of Addis Abeba, has been revamped by the administration to prevent soil erosion around the river.

The development is received warmly by the neighbourhood that lives near the river.

“It will protect our houses from being taken by the river,” said Mesfin Keseto, who resides behind the river. “Last year, two houses were entirely destroyed by the river due to soil erosion.”

The project also includes drainage development works to boost the flood protection capability of the watercourse.

Among 30 interested companies, Wada Engineering Plc is the company that was selected to refurbish the river half a year ago. Established in 2014, the company is a grade two contractor and is involved in the construction of seven water supply projects such as Shebe and Anjelilo Muliti village water supply projects in Jimma and Arsi towns, with a cost of 11 million Br and eight million Br, respectively.

The company used gabions, a wall type erosion control structure, to prevent erosion in the area. It spent four months completing the project, a month late from the scheduled time.

“The project was not as we originally planned,” said Abebe Angasa, a shareholder and general manager of Wada. “During the construction, the project office revised some structures, which resulted in a delay of the project by a month.”

Besides Yemariam River, the project office is developing the same project in Kebena, Gelagele, Jomo, and Shankela rivers. The total cost of the projects is around 53.4 million Br, accounting for more than one-fourth of the project office’s budget this year. These rivers are among 14 similar projects which are expected to be developed by the office up until next year.

In a bid to make the city one of the 15 cleanest in Africa, the city will launch a similar project in eight other sites on four rivers next year. Covering around 600km, the project will be implemented in Lebu, Banche Yeketu, Kortame and Bulbula rivers.

The office gave these sites priority as they were at a critical stage, according to Debela Beru, deputy head of the project office.

“The pollution of the rivers brought repeated complaints from Oromia regional offices,” said Debela. “Some rivers in Oromia such as Aba Samuel Reservoir have stopped producing fish due to pollution.”

The office estimated that about 85 people live in one hectare of the rivers and riversides. Also, the river development project might result in the relocation of 50 households.

The project office became operational two years ago with the aim of undertaking tasks to prevent soil erosion and dirt along flood exposed areas and river banks. At the time it became operational, the office hired Addis Abeba University (AAU) to conduct a study on five rivers with a total cost of 34 million Br.

AAU already presented the inception report of the survey, and it is expected to hand over the study to the project office before the current budget year concludes.

“This will help us to develop our task of cleaning the rivers and banks in line with the tenth master plan,” said Debela.

The 10th master plan entails rivers and river banks which have drainage issues will be transformed into parks. The city has already identified 126 spots to develop as parks over the next decade, which will raise the number of parks to over 180 from 13.


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