|Kola Dam - Inauguration|
May 04, 1960
|it is an historic occasion of twofold significance in the life of Ethiopia when We, today inaugurate |
and place into service the Koka Dam and hydro-electric installation. In so doing, We witness the
realization of an undertaking which has, since its inception, been very close to Our heart and in
which We have always maintained the highest personal interest. We humbly render Our thanks to
Almighty God, who, having laid upon Us the heavy responsibility of leading Our beloved people in
the path of progress and enlightenment, has spared Us to witness the fruits of Our labours.
This project, so impressive in its proportions, its complexity and its ramifications, reflects in
common with all other undertakings designed for the promotion of progress and welfare of
mankind, the fruition of intelligence, faith and diligence; intelligence to penetrate and discern the
hidden resources and opportunities that a Benevolent Providence has spread before Us, in
challenge to prove ourselves worthy of the means for bringing them to full development: faith in
the ability of Our people to respond to that challenge; faith in the ability of Our people to respond
to that challenge; faith to penetrate through the fatigues and difficulties of the hour to the vision of
their future welfare and progress which these resources, these opportunities and these labours
offer; and, diligence to pursue through hardship and fatigues, the attainment of that vision.
Thus the opportunities which the Almighty, in His generousity and wisdom, extends to Us, must be
found, created, developed and exploited. It is the duty of all mankind to make the maximum use of
the gifts, ingenuities, capacities and resources which have been placed at its disposal. These are
not ours to do with as we will; they have been given to Us in trust, that we may, following the
example of developed countries, apply them for the highest benefit to oursevles and to posterity,
and each one of us has a sacred duty to fulfil this trust and to prove ourselves worthy of the
confidence reposed in us.
So it is with the installation which We are today inaugerating. Ethiopia has been blessed -- with an
abundant rainfall, and well-fed streams, a rich soil, a propitious climate and an industrious
population. Indeed, the challenges presented by the opulence of our resources, has required a
careful selection, planning and timing, in order to devote to each challenge the discipline thought
and effort that it merits. Thus, viewed in the broader spectrum of Our national Five-Year Plan, the
Koka Installation takes its assigned place not merely as a significant unit of Our national power
resources, but also as a part of a nation-wide programme for the exploitation of our river systems.
That same selection and that same planning are revealed in the structure at Our feet. It was not
sufficient to note the existence of the resources in water power, it had meticulously to be measured
and the amount and regularity of future flow computed.
It was not sufficient to note the existence of a waterfall, it was necessary, by exhaustive surveys
and studies, careful drillings and precautionary measures to make certain that the construction at
this site was feasible from the points of view of engineering, the economics of electrical
distribution and public communicatins. All this planning and labour under the direction and
supervision of officials appointed by Us, lie before Us in expectant completion and justify and
nourish Our faith in the youth of Our country.
This impressive installation is, therefore, a national resource, having its origins in the life and
history of Our people and offering opportunity for the expansion of industry and of agriculture
through the husbanding of the dynamic and the fructifying powers of our water resources. It is Our
bounden duty, to exploit them to the full, in a surge of development of our agriculture and industry.
It is, therefore, particularly appropriate that the financial and technical resources placed at our
disposition by the Reparations Agreement, should, for the most part, have been devoted to this
seminal and powerful programme of hydro-electrical and agricultural development. Such a
programme in assuaging past wounds, can contribute powerfully to improvement of relations.
However, as We have observed, this project has already been integrated not only into the larger
programme, by which the Awash River will yield, again and again, of its treasures to turn the
wheels of industry and to fructify the fertile soil of Our homeland, but also into the yet broader
programme including the Blue Nile, the Webi Shebelli, the Akobo, the Dinder, the Taccase, the
Mereb and others.
In this way, the Koka hydro-electric installation will along with others to be constructed, enhance
the welfare of Our beloved subjects. To this end, We have ordered the reduction of the present
rates for the electricity produced by this enterprise constructed from reparations funds. Moreover,
in order that outlying regions should not be handicapped by their remoteness, the same reduced
tariff shall apply to all communities, so that everyone will receive his fair share. In this way, the
new installation can serve as a powerful stimulus to the development of Our rapidly expanding
economy and society.
We must, all of us, then, look beyond today and beyond the vast structure which lies at Our feet, to
find the real significance of this occasion. In doing so, we must rededicate ourselves to the cause of
the progress and advancement of Ethiopia and her people which has played so large a role in this
project. We for Our part, shall never falter in Our efforts to assure that the benefits of modern
science and technology shall be lavished upon Our people without any loss of the underlying moral
and spiritual values which have contributed so much to our history. We ask no less of each of our
While we are appreciative of the residence which has been constructed for Us, near the site of this
dam, plans are being prepared for its utilization in the interest of Our people.
And, therefore, having entrusted all available finance in the hands of those in whom We have
placed Our full confidence, it will never occur to Us to entertain the belief that they will be so
negligent as to betray Our faith in their integrity or be so motivated by gains as to be led astray
from their responsibility.
On this occasion, We would extend Our thanks to the Reparations Commissioner, Major Assefa
Lemma, and those consultants, scientists and engineers who contributed to the timely completion
of this enterprise and to the others who laboured so long and diligently to that end.
|Haile Selassie the First - May 4, 1960|