Three micro hydropower plants were inaugurated at the villages of Ererte, Gobecho and Hagara Sodicha in the Sidama zone in the Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Regional State (SNNPRS) on February 24th and 25th, 2012. In total, they have a power generation capacity of 125 Kilowatt, which for example can be used to light up more than 17,000 energy saving light bulbs.
The Energy Coordination Office of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supported the construction of the three micro hydropower
plants on behalf of the German and Dutch Governments. It was implemented in partnership with Sidama Mines, Water and Energy Agency, the Sidama Development Association and local communities.
Small rivers and waterfalls could generate electricity to energize many off-grid rural areas in Ethiopia – however, this potential is often not used: “Ethiopia is referred to as ‘the water tower of Africa’. Despite the fact that around 97 percent of the electricity in Ethiopia is generated from hydropower, only about three percent of the whole potential
is currently tapped”, said Lieselore Cyrus, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany during the inauguration.
“These three micro hydropower plants are not only shining examples on how to use this potential, but also show excellent community development through the utilization of local resources,” she noted. The Ambassador especially thanked The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa for its continuous effort to realize these projects and make them visible. “When you want to achieve results you need to join forces “, Ambassador Hans Blankenberg of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said during the inauguration. “Since 2005 we have successfully cooperated with the Germans in the Energising Development Partnership. This has resulted in energy activities in 20 countries, benefiting more than 7.2 million people. These people have now been provided with electricity or with improved cooking technologies. Access to energy is vital. Many economic activities are simply not possible if energy is unavailable and therefore economic growth is inhibited. We all know that Ethiopia needs economic growth.“
”The micro hydropower plants now provide clean energy to more than 22,000 inhabitants,” said Henning Vogel, Programme Manager of GIZ Energy Coordination Office. “The electricity is used to enhance public services such as powering three elementary secondary schools, three health posts, three farmer training centres, three Kebele administration offices, several religious institutions and three battery charging stations, among others,” he added.
In association with the local administration, GIZ has supported the project implementation and the establishment of electricity service cooperatives to own and operate the three micro hydropower plants.
About the inauguration ceremony
The Micro hydropower stations were inaugurated in the presence of the following excellencies:
• H.E. Ato Shiferaw Shigute, President of SNNPR
• H.E. Mrs. Lieselore Cyrus, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
• H.E. Mr. Hans Blankenberg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
• H.E. Mr. Odd-Inge Kvalheim, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy
• H.E. Mr. Dragan Momcillovic, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia
About Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and ECO The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. It supports the German Government in international cooperation for sustainable development and in international education work. GIZ supports people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving living conditions.
The GIZ Energy Coordination Office (ECO) is supporting the improvement of access to modern energy services in Ethiopia through its Energizing Development Program (EnDev Ethiopia).