Reb River

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Reb River (also transliterated as Rib; Amharic "bottom, buttocks") is a river of north-central Ethiopia which empties into Lake Tana at 12°2′N 37°35′E / 12.033°N 37.583°E / 12.033; 37.583Coordinates: 12°2′N 37°35′E / 12.033°N 37.583°E / 12.033; 37.583. The river originates on the slopes of Mount Guna, and flows west through Kemekem woreda. It has no significant tributaries.

R.E. Cheesman described the Reb in 1936 as bringing "down quantities of dark sand, and we passed banks of it deposited on the lake shore. The river bar, 600 yards out in the lake, is a semicircle, and parties of travellers with loaded donkeys were passing round it instead of crossing the river." Merchants based in Yifag would transport bars of salt or amoleh in small boats or tankwas down the Reb to Zege on the lake to trade for coffee.[1]

The Reb was also the site of one of several stone bridges built during the time of the Jesuit missionaries or the reign of Fasilides. Consisting of five arches, it was located 24 kilometers (15 mi) from the estuary and enabled travel between Gondar and Debre Tabor.[2] During the Italian occupation, the Italians built a bridge over the river with wooden supports, but it was damaged during the British campaign.[3]

On 21 June 2007, the World Bank announced that it had approved an International Development Association credit of US$100 million for an Irrigation and Drainage project covering the Magech and Reb rivers, as part of the Nile Basin Initiative. With the goal of increasing irrigated agricultural output, this proposed project will develop incrementally a total area of 20,000 hectares.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" Archived 2011-05-28 at the Wayback Machine The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 12 January 2008)
  2. ^ Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie University, 1968), p. 297
  3. ^ Solomon Getahun, History of the City of Gondar (Trenton: Red Sea Press, 2005), pp. 95ff.
  4. ^ "Ethiopia Receives Assistance for Irrigation and Drainage Project", World Bank website (accessed 14 October 2010)