By Tesfa-alem Tekle
June 22, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — The joint meeting of ministers of Water Resources of Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan held in London to discuss projects that would be executed on Nile River was successfully concluded, according to Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR).
Minister of Water Resources Asfaw Dingamo told Walta information center that the projects studied by the British and French companies EDF and Scott Wilson could benefit the three nations if implemented.
The companies have forwarded detailed studies of projects to be undertaken in the Nile Basin,he said, adding that the three countries have reached consensus on the hydropower opportunities available in the basin.
The studies would help expand large-scale irrigation development works in Ethiopia, Asfaw stated, further noting that they have also proved that hydropower projects to be developed in the Nile Basin could only be materialized in Ethiopia.
The studies are of paramount importance to avert the evaporation problem witnessed in the Sudan and Egypt as well as the erosion in Ethiopia, the minister added.
The studies also revealed that projects carried out around the Nile basin could be of immense economic benefits if carried on the highlands of Ethiopia. Sudan has supported the idea, he said.
Egypt protested against Ethiopia’s plan to develop one million hectare by harnessing Nile River claiming that a huge volume of water would be consumed, Asfaw said, adding that the government of Ethiopia has pointed out that the issue should not be about volume of water but about the potentials at hand and the possible joint ventures which could be carried out.
Even if the government of Egypt again posed various preconditions saying that the irrigation projects to be executed in Ethiopia would reduce the volume of Asawn Dam, the companies explained how they came to the conclusion they reached, he elaborated.
Although Egypt opposed the unilateral development activities of Ethiopia in the Nile Basin, Sudan has expressed its support, Asfaw revealed.