Kesem Tendaho Narrated Report             June 19, 2007.


Kesem ??กฐ Tendaho Project comprises two irrigation development sites at Kessem and Tendaho with an area of 65 ha and 25 ha respectively; which totals 90,000 ha. The main objective of this project is to increase the national sugar production both for local and export market and improve the livelihood of the communities; which will be affected or residing near by the project area through out grower and other interrelated interventions. The project is started on July 2004 and it is located in the Awash Basin .

The project is coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Water Resources. The Ministry of water Resources has taken a responsibility to coordinate the study, design and construction of the dam, irrigation system and, housing and related infrastructures including water supply. After the commencement of the project the social & environmental issue and the availability of water for the undergoing initiatives were also crop out as most important issue to be looked along the development.

The Ministry of Water Resources with the Regional state of Afar has taken also the responsibility to look in to the options of maximizing the benefit and participation of the community from the project. This project is reviewed at quarterly basis at higher level to look into the performance. The last review meeting was in March 2006. At this meeting important directions have been forwarded, which this report will give emphasis on:

Agreed tasks forwarded with respect to:

  1. Dams construction and Irrigation development;
  2. Housing and Infrastructure Construction and
  3. Social and Environmental study and implementation and

highlighted here under:

    • Proceed with the dam and Irrigation system construction as per the revised & agreed schedule
    • Further investigation of the housing unit rate establishment presented by the consultant Water Works Design & Supervision Enterprise (WWDSE) by taking the practice of the Addis Ababa housing development.
    • Finalize the implementation of the social and environmental study mainly focusing on the local community.


1. Study and Design

The Work Plan of the Tendaho irrigation scheme was planned strictly based on the requirement of the Tendaho Sugar Project (TSP).

Scheduled design activities for the reporting period were surveying and design works of the remaining 15,000 ha each at both Tendaho and Kesem sites. However due to the slow progress of clearing works, the intended design works on 15000 ha of land was not completed. But on and area which is cleared already [2000 ha 1200 ha] surveying works had been conducted.

Regarding Kesem project the irrigation system for the first 10,000 ha will be constructed for Metehara Sugar Factory (MSF) as per the direction given during earlier joint meeting and the remaining area will be developed for the use of the local community. In order to provide self standing feasibility study for MSF the WWDSE has partially completed a scaling down of the original study on 20000 ha of land and redesigning of the irrigation system in a way to suite MSF demand is completed.

1.1 Housing and infrastructure

In line with the joint agreement reached between the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Urban Development the following activities were conducted .

  • Conducting successive meeting with the Ministry of Urban Development
  • Handing over of all project documents related to housing and infrastructure development to the Ministry of Urban Development .
  • Joint site visit to all respective construction sites.
  • Completing design of permanent and construction water supply at the respective sites.
  • Commencement of construction pipe laying works
  • Construction of three deep wells for water supply
  • Construction of three elevated tank for storage of water during construction period.

1.2 The Electromechanical Design

The Electromechanical Design and tender document preparation for the Kesem Intake tower, Tendaho Intake tower, Spillway and major hydraulic structures on Tendaho main canal (Head regulator and cross regulator) are completed and forwarded to the Civil Contractor for necessary preparation and quotation.

2. Construction Activities

During the reporting period, the following construction activities were planned:-

  • Construction and completion of Coffer Dam [both kesem an Tendaho]
  • Tunneling works including outlet and inlet works
  • Construction of main canal and other irrigation infrastructures.
  • Earth and Concrete works at the spillway.
  • Grouting work both at the spillway and at the river bed
  • Construction of intake Tower at Tendaho and vertical shaft at Kesem

Details on the above activities were given below

2.1 Construction of main Coffer dam

Construction of temporary and permanent coffer dams is a pre-requisite for the diversion of the river and safe construction such as foundation preparation, grouting and construction of the main coffer dam. During the reporting period, the construction of coffer dam at the left and right abutment is on progress .To date accomplished volume of work is 80%. However the closure of the central portion of the Awash River at Tendaho is dependant on embedding of electro-mechanical parts that has to be installed prior to diversion. Accordingly the activity is extended until mid February 2007.

With regard to the cofferdam construction at Kesem project, 70 % of the construction of Temporary cofferdam is completed. Similarly at the Down stream of Temporary cofferdam, foundation preparation for the construction of main cofferdam is completed and placing of embankment material was commenced.

2.2 Tunneling works including outlet and inlet works.

During the reporting period the construction of diversion Tunnel works at Tendaho and Kesem were completed. During the report period the following activities were conducted.

Completion of Diversion Tunnel construction both at Kesem and Tendaho.
Completion of Outlet and inlet works at Kesem and Tendaho
Completion of Intake vertical shaft at Kesem
Construction of Intake tower at Tendaho is on progress and currently the structure is ready to accommodate the incoming diversion flow.

2.3 Construction of Main Canal and Irrigation infrastructures

Parallel to the construction of the main canal, construction of irrigation infrastructure was underway. In Tendaho project, the construction of the main canal has reached 21 km.

With regard to land development for irrigation infrastructure in Tendaho, the construction is in strict reference to the schedule set by Tendaho Sugar Project. Accordingly, the first and second stage land requirement of 115 and 1130 ha was handed over to Tendaho Sugar factory for the initial cane development. Concurrent to the above, further Land Development on 4500 ha and 6500 ha is on progress.

With regard to Kesem irrigation infrastructure development, so far in an area of 1200 ha of land, embankment works on the main canal, secondary tertiary canals were conducted, 200 ha requested by Metehara Sugar Factory is Completed. However during the course of construction the activities were frequently interrupted by claimants of the land ownership.

2.4 Grouting Works

Major areas planned for grouting are the river bed, right and left abutment of the Dam and spillway axis. The activity was initially planned to be conducted by the main contractor Water Works Construction Enterprise. However, due to voluminous of the work, it was decided partially to sub let the works to potential contractors.

In view of this, the work was awarded to Chinese contractor who is already engaged in the construction of tunnel. Accordingly, during the reporting period the grouting works both on the right and left abutment of Kesem and Tendaho were completed. However the complex geological nature encountered at the central valley and the plateau area on the right bank of Awash River in Tendaho Project has called for further investigation. As a result, the consultant has extended further investigation and in accordance to the outcome of the study relevant and appropriate measures will be taken.

Both at Tendaho and Kesem projects, the grouting works at the spillway were completed.

2.5 Lining works

Parallel to the construction of irrigation Infrastructures, it was scheduled to conduct lining works along the main canal primary canals and secondary canals were envisaged during the report period. However due to late supply of the materials such as polyethylene reno mattress and geo membrane, the required progress was not yet achieved. At Tendaho project so far only the lining works of about one Km was conducted, which is insignificant compared to the total volume required.

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