December 8, 2021
The Awash River, formerly known as the Hawash (in Amharic, አዋሽ ወንዝ, awaš wänz, in Afar, We'ayot), is a river located in eastern Ethiopia. Originates in the mountainous areas of central Ethiopia, at an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. of the African continent". It is the second largest river in Ethiopia, surpassed only by the Blue Nile. From its origins in the Ethiopian highlands, it reaches the Danakil Desert and flows into Lake Abbe at an altitude of 250 meters above the level. from the sea. It is 1200 kilometers long and has a hydrographic basin of approximately 113,700 square kilometers. On the other hand, it is divided into three systems, based mainly on the water activities carried out in them: High, Medium and Low. In its affluence, it passes through various climatic regions, ranging from humid to arid subtropical regions. In the upper region, there is the Koka dam, the hydroelectric plants Awash I and Awash II, factories and sugarcane plantations. In the middle Awash, irrigation projects for banana and cotton plantations predominate, as does the Kassam dam. Finally, in the lower area, there is the Tandaho irrigation project. Along the Awash River basin there are several paleoanthropological sites. In the medium Awash, remains of hominids such as an almost complete skull of Homo rhodesiensis in 1978 or remains of Australopithecus afarensis have been found. In this sense, in 1974, the findings of multiple bone remains collected in the Danakil Desert, on the banks of the river, made it possible to compose a partial skeleton of a female, estimated at three million years. The climate of the Awash River basin is mainly influenced by the movement of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). During its northward movement in March/April and its southward withdrawal, the ITCZ creates two rainy seasons, a shorter one in March ("Belg") and a longer one between June and September ("Kiremt"), which partially fall in a longer rainy season. The rainy season tends to be bimodal towards eastern Ethiopia and nearly unimodal towards western Ethiopia. The time between October and March is constituted by a dry season, called "Bega". Semi-arid to arid conditions prevail in the Rift Valley. In contrast, the highlands receive in part more than 1600 mm of rain six months a year.