The Ethiopian public has raised over $17.7 million (605 million birr) for the continuation of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile in a year.
Out of the total of 605 million birr, 79 million was collected in the month of April alone, the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation to the Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) disclosed.
Hailu Abraham, Head of the Office, said the fund was collected from the public via SMS and sale of bonds, among other initiatives.
Mr. Hailu pointed out the fundraising effort has not been going as planned due to the need to limit public gatherings as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the amount of contribution made has still been monumental despite the effect of COVID-19.
The Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation to GERD plans to collect 1.2 billion birr in the Ethiopian budget year which starts in July.
Since the construction of the GERD commenced, 13.54 billion birr has been collected from the public for the project.
The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is 73.7 percent complete, and Ethiopia plans to start filling in July 2020.