Home | News    Sunday 2 December 2012

Panel pushes study on Ethiopia’s Nile dam amid Egypt crises


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 1, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – The international panel of experts asked by Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to assess the impact of Ethiopia’s controversial Nile dam project has continued its study despite fresh political turmoil in Cairo over a decree that gives Egypt’s President sweeping new powers.

The panel of experts’ also known as tripartite committee has held its fourth meeting in Addis Ababa this week to further review the impact of Ethiopia’s grand renaissance dam.

During the meeting held from 26-28 November, the team has evaluated a document presented by Addis Ababa which details the benefit the project offers to down stream countries of Egypt and Sudan.

The tripartite committee has evaluated and studied the documents and the possible environmental impacts of the Dam as well as its socio-economic benefits according to Engineer Simegnew Bekele, Project Manager of Ethiopia’s renaissance dam.
The document also provided details on the construction of the mega dam and other environmental studies made on site.

Following the meeting, the team of experts paid a visit to the construction site, which is located in Benishangul Gumuz region, some 30 kilometers from the border with Sudan.

After Ethiopia launched the construction of the Grand dam, Africa’s biggest, on the Blue Nile River, Egypt has expressed fears that it will reduce the water flow significantly and has raised strong objections against the project and urged international donors to refrain from funding the mega dam.

During the Mubarek era, Egypt refused to negotiate a more equitable utilization of the Nile’s water, maintaining that any dam construction would be seen as a “national security threat” and warned upstream countries from doing so.

This was been seen as overly aggressive stance by some upstream countries, particularly Ethiopia which is a source of around 85% of the Nile water.

According to a document published by the whistle-blowing organization Wikileaks, Egypt’s Mubarak regime had agreed with the Sudanese government to an build air base in the western Darfur region to carry out airstrikes against Ethiopia’s mega Dam. An allegation both Cairo and Khartoum denied.

However, the issue of Nile water now seems to be far from being a top priority for post-Mubarak leaders in Cairo, who are tied in political disputes over the powers of the President and a new constitution that is due to be voted on later this month.

Ethiopia which self-funds the $ 5 billion mega-dams project says construction is on track to complete the dam by 2015. Currently some 14 percent of the construction is accomplished.

The international panel of experts which was set to build trust and transparency among Nile riparian states is expected to reveal and submit its final findings on dam’s impact to the governments of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, in May 2013.

The Grand Renaissance Dam has a power generating capacity of 6,000MW and when completed it will enable the Horn of Africa nation to export more power to its neighbours.

Currently Ethiopia is exporting hydro-power processed electricity to Djibouti and Sudan. It will soon start exports to Kenya, according to the state utility, Ethiopia Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCo).

Recently South Sudan has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ethiopian government to build a transmission line that will connect their power grids, enabling Africa’s newest nation to import power.


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  • 2 December 2012 07:54, by panafricaner

    You know Ethiopians are determined to build this dam by their own fund. No need of funding from from Int’l donors.
    Hey! Egypt don’t weast your time by begging the donors not to fund this dum. Let me advice you one thing, the only alternative which you have is COOPERATING WITH ETHIOPIA AND OTHER UPPER RIPARIAN COUNTRIES FOR THE SAKE OF COMMON BENEFIT.

    repondre message

  • 2 December 2012 09:41, by panafricaner

    But if you try to force Ethiopians to stop its construction, it is like of playing with fire. These Ethiopians, never ever been kneeled down by who ever out siders. I hope Egyptians can witness this.
    So either the sky come down or the earth rise up the dam will build up with no hurming others but benefiting all.
    Egypt please be wise don’t stuck in 18th century it 21st century now.

    repondre message

    • 2 December 2012 12:49, by Northern Sudanese

      we know its the 21st century but its you everytime mentioning history like saying ’’These Ethiopians, never ever been kneeled down by who ever out siders’’ don’t be a fool, we sudanese have killed their emperor yohannes in 1890.
      Ethiopia is weak, if this dams threatens us then we will destroy it.

      repondre message

    • 2 December 2012 12:52, by Northern Sudanese

      ethiopia can’t face both egypt and sudan, ethiopia is too poor and has the lowest per capita in the region if not the whole continent. its military expenditure is lower than $1 billion and if even Eritrea kicks the shit out of ethiopia, what you think will happen if egypt and sudan are to attack ethiopia???

      repondre message

      • 2 December 2012 15:41, by Tutbol

        N Sudanese
        Donot let your balls carry you too far, your Sudan is troubled by its rag-tag rebels let alone thinking of taking war to ethiopia’s advance army. When it comes to Egypt the only surest way to secure the Nile waters for its survival is by negotiation only with the other Nile’s states otherwise, Egypt risk being badly humiliated & lost of Water all together. So turn down your braggings.

        repondre message

      • 2 December 2012 19:41, by Observer

        N. Sudanese,
        You poor man. Your masters given you the wrong information again or are you not able to use the Google function on the internet that well?
        And since when does military spending of more than $1 billion mean that the country is strong. Take a look at ours- we couldn’t prevent Israel from bombing us twice, we have a war going on in SK and BN and aren;t winning it..

        repondre message

  • 2 December 2012 09:58, by Akol Liai Mager

    God had equally divided interests to people of the world; being knowledge or minerals, but human love for racism and greediness turned these interests to source of control and violence. If Arabs needs African Waters, then they must give African rights to share the Arabs Oil and the problems associated Nile Waters between Africans and Arabs will be declared resolved.

    repondre message

    • 2 December 2012 10:12, by Akol Liai Mager

      Correction; If Arabs need African Waters, then they must give African rights to share the Arabs Oil and the problems associated with the Nile Waters between Africans and Arabs will be declared resolved.

      repondre message

  • 27 April 2013 11:19, by linadobson

    This was been seen as overly aggressive stance by some upstream countries, particularly Ethiopia which is a source of around 85% of the Nile water.Health News

    repondre message

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