The city expects the pool will be the first in Addis to meet international standards

Nov 23 , 2019

Ras Hailu International Swimming Pool is an Olympic-size complex constructed for a cost of 102 million Birr.

The Addis Abeba City Administration will inaugurate its first Olympic-size swimming complex, which was constructed for 102 million Br. The city expects that the complex will be the first in the city to meet international standards.

Located near Medhanialem School in Gulele Sub-City, construction of Ras Hailu International Swimming Pool began eight years ago in June. Financed by the City Administration, the construction occurred over two phases.

The swimming pool complex has 500 seats and will be inaugurated in late December.

The Defense Construction Enterprise was the contractor of the project. It subcontracted the first phase to Bereket Tesfaye Consulting Architects & Engineering. Costing 50 million Br, this phase included construction of offices, shops and cafeterias and was finalised in August 2015.

The second phase of the project was sub-contracted to BET Architects due to delays dealing with the electro-mechanical system. The second phase included construction of an underground pumping system that fills the swimming pool and filters the water using sand and chemicals.

The facility has two swimming pools, including one for children and trainees. The main swimming pool is a 50m by 25m Olympic-size pool that has 10 lanes. It requires 5,000 cubic metres of water to fill properly, according to Fekadu Alemu, sports project coordinator of the Addis Abeba Construction Bureau.

“The only part of the work that remains is filling up the water,” he said. “With the current shortage of water in the city, we have not been able to accomplish the fill-up until now.”

The Bureau plans to construct a borehole to extract water from the ground. Once enough water is filled into the pool, it can be used for a year as long as it is constantly chemically treated. While the Olympic-size pool has five pumps, the smaller one has two. There is also one pump that serves as a reserve.

The Addis Abeba Sports Commission, established in November 2010, initiated the project. It aims to create and enhance community-based sports institutes and centres.

“The pool is not only built to host competitions but to train teens and produce athletes fit to compete in international events,” said Mehari Temesgen, communication department coordinator of the Bureau.

Yonas Aregay, head of the Sports Commission, agreed.

“There are various types of swimming pools and Ras Hailu International Swimming Pool has set an international standard in terms of size and conditions such as water temperature, cleaning system and water disinfection mechanism,” he said.

International standard Olympic-size pools have to have a size of 50m by 25m, at least eight lanes and modern treatment systems, according to the International Swimming Federation (FINA), the group recognised by the International Olympic Committee to administer water sports.

Henok Fikadu, a sports science lecturer at Wolkite University, says such types of projects play an important role in bringing forth athletes and creating outlets for youths.

“It is fundamental that such types of facilities are staffed with the right human resources and leadership,” added Henok.

PUBLISHED ON Nov 23,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1021]

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