Engineers Proposal on how to Eradicate Hunger from ETHIOPIA

Tadesse H/Selassie

Berta Construction
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
September 2002
[Selected Highlights of Proposal Presented to Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers]


Ato Tadesse makes the following point in his proposal:

"A farmer needs the following resources and conditions to be productive: Solar Energy, Labor, Improved Selected Seed, Land, Democratic Governance, Water."

"If we had made our slogan "Water for the Tiller" (instead of "Land for the Tiller" only), we would not have been hungry today."

"As an engineer, my proposed solution to reduce poverty and famine and completely eradicate them is to allocate 2 Hectares of land with 10,000 cubic meter water per year for one farmer."

"Relying on rain fed agriculture to feed a nation of 63 million people is like trying to catch a cloud in the sky. Hoping to feed 100 million Ethiopians by the year 2015 by relying solely on rain fed agriculture is sheer madness."

Proposal I

Objective: To provide 1 billion cubic meter of water. Cost Estimate: 500 Million Birr. Design and Construction: 3 years.

1) Dam and divert Bilaten and Dijo rivers that originate around Butajira and Hossana and make them discharge their water into Lake Ziway. At the moment, these two rivers discharge their water into Lakes Abaya and Shala.

2) Divert the Awash river when it reaches Zuquala moumtain to lake Ziway. A very large flat area that can be used as a silting basin can be found between Zuquala and Lake Ziway. These silting basins will be transformed into a fertile land.

3) Lake Ziway has over 450 square kilometers aerial extent and can hold easily two more billion cubic meter of water with only a 4 meter elevation rise. 

4) Through controlled release of the 2 billion cubic meter of water accumulated in Lake Ziway and thrugh river training of Awash river, the water can be transported Aliy Derge Plain 200 kilometers downstream of Lake Ziway by gravity alone. 


1) Permanent employment for 100,000 farmers and their families.

2) These 100,000 farmers can feed 5 million Ethiopians.

3) 200 MW of additional electricity generating capacity

4) 100 Km of inland waterway

5) Prolonged life for farmlands in Wonji, Metahara, Middle Awsh, Amibara, and Tendaho. 


Proposal II

Objective: Provide farmers with 2 billion cubic meter of water. Cost Estimate: 3.62 billion Birr. Design and Construction: 5 years.

1) Dam 13 small rivers located in North Shoa and channel the water through the Addis Ababa area and discharge it to an artificial lake near Metehara.

2) Divert the Kessem and Kebena Rivers in East Shoa to the artificial lake near Metehara.

3) Build an artificial lake near Metehara that can hold 3 billion cubic meter of water.

4) Build channels that provide water to the farmlands in Metehara and the farmlands in middle Awash.


1) Employment for 200,000 farmers and their families.

2) These 200,000 farmers can feed 10 million Ethiopians.

3) The 1500 meter elevation difference between North Shoa and Metahara, a 1000 MW hydroelectric power can be generated.

Proposal III

Objective: provide farmers with 25 billion cubic meter of water. Cost Estimate: 7 billion Birr. Design and Construction: 13 years.

1) Damming the Blue Nile beneath Mertole Mariam with a dam of 300 meter height.

2) Drill a 50 Km long tunnel at the junction of Rivers Teleyayen and Tere and divert the Beshlo River to an eastward flow.

3) Construct two more dams near the Wuchale and Mersa towns to impound 25 billion cubic meters of water diverted from the Beshlo river.


1) Employment Opportunity for 2.5 million farmers and their families.

2) 2.5 million farmers can feed 125 million people.

3) Inland waterway of 800 Km length will provide a transportation means for people and goods to travel to and from Tis Abay to Wuchale and further north through Kobo and Alamata upto Mohani town.