Dienstag, 28. Mai 2013

Speech of The Day (240) - laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Koka Dam hydro-electric project

On Wednesday, May 28, 1958, His Imperial
Majesty Haile Selassie I laid the foundation
stone for the construction of the Koka Dam
hydro-electric project. To the speech of Major
Assefa Lemma, the Reparations Commissioner,
His Imperial Majesty answered as follows:

"Almighty God in His infinite wisdom and bounty
has blessed Our Empire with various incomparable riches,
not the least of which is the wealth of our country's
water resources. The development of these resources
has been Our constant preoccupation and We are today
taking the first step in Our programme for the fullest
utilization of this God-given gift for the benefit of Our
people, marking thereby the high place which We have
ascribed to the matter of water resources in Our overall
planning. Unlike so many lands around her, Ethiopia
has been especially blessed with an abundance of natural
resources, and the prolific amount of her annual rainfall
makes her fitly to be called 'The Water Tower of the
Horn of Africa". Millions of square miles of territory
together with millions of human beings and their livestock
depend on the water that flows from Ethiopia's mountains,
and from her comes more than two-thirds of the
waters of the Nile.
It is the duty and privilege of this generation and of
posterity to conserve and develop these precious resources.
To fail to do so will be to fail in our God-given
responsibility. In building dams for impounding these
waters and utilizing the hydro-electric power to be
secured from them, We are giving a powerful impetus to
all the programmes We have laid out for the economic
development of Our country. We are thereby protecting
from erosion the rich and precious soil of Our Empire,
and are storing up waters for the irrigation, for increasing
our agricultural and plantation potential. We are thus
providing the sinews of industry through the generation
of electric power and finally, We are aiding the develop-
ment of transportation in securing the means for its
eventual electrification. The rapid growth of our
population and the fast pace of our economic expansion
call for the early fulfillment of these developmental
programmes. For example, in the City of Addis Ababa
alone, with its highly restricted generating capacity,
47% of the electricity produced is now being consumed
in industrial installations. It is obvious that the addition
of other sources of hydro-electric power will give a
tremendous, impulsion to the development of our industrial
It is for this reason that, out of the 40 million Ethiopian
Dollars to be paid by Italy to Ethiopia under the
War Reparations Agreement between the two countries,
We have alloted 30 million dollars to this project, which
holds such tremendous potential for agricultural and
industrial development, and for which We lay the foundation
stone today. The balance has been earmarked
for the establishment of a textile factory. These projects
were chosen as being vital to raising the standard
of living of any people.
This project which We see before us is eloquent
testimony to the great importance which We ascribe to
hydro-electric and irrigation projects in Our Empire.
It represents, further, long years of careful scientific
studies and exploratory work, such as the painstaking
compilation, and examination of rainfall records for
nearly a generation, geological surveys and borings,
and exhaustive studies by electrical, hydraulic and construction
engineers. The barrage has been so designeid
as to impound the maximum flow of the waters available
with the least possible inconvenience to the agri-
cultural lands which surround it, and which lie below
it on the Awash River. This dam, costing 20 million
dollars, will be capable, when completed, of generating
54,000 kilowatts of electric power.
Today is a day of deep historic significance, for in
laying this foundation stone, We are establishing for
Our beloved people a source of wealth. This project
constitutes the initial step both in the development and
utilisation of the water resources of Our Empire, and
in the programme designed by Us for enhancing the
progress and expansion of all fields of economic endeavour
in Our country ­­­- agriculture, industry, transportation
and communications. And we shall never cease
to strive, as We have done in the case of the resources
of these Awash waters, to exploit to the maximum each
individual source of wealth which God Almighty in
His mercy has bestowed upon us. It is our duty to
see that yet other barrages are built in order to ensure
that this bounty of Providence does not go to waste
and is utilized to the greater glory of His handywork.
This project is but the first step in a similar programme
We have in mind for the other water courses
of Our Empire, such as the Nile with its volume and
potentialities so vastly greater, as well as the Baro" the
Sobat, the Akobo and the Webi Shebeli.
When We are thus tirelessly striving to ensure that
the riches and blessings bestowed on Our country by
God in His generosity are put to use for the welfare and
progress of Our people, it becomes the duty and obligation
of every citizen of Our Empire to assist Us in
the tasks which We have undertaken.
We express our most profound gratitude to God
Almighty for having inspired Us to envisage this project
and having enabled Us to see it inaugurated.
In conclusion We would like to express Our thanks
to the Italian Government and the Authorities for the
spirit of collaboration in this matter and for fostering
the good relations between the two countries."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 58 -

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen