Ethiopia rejects Egypt proposal on Nile dam operation

The two nations disagree over the annual flow of water that should be guaranteed to Egypt, among other issues

The two nations disagree over the annual flow of water that should be guaranteed to Egypt and how to manage flows during droughts [File – Elias Asmare/AP]
Ethiopia has said it will not accept a proposal by Egypt on the operation of the hydropower dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile, calling Cairo’s plan “inappropriate”.

Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s minister for water, irrigation and energy, said on Wednesday Addis Ababa will put forward a different proposal.

“The proposal from Egypt was unilaterally decided…(it) didn’t consider our previous agreements,” he said. “We can’t agree with this … we will prepare our counter proposal.”

INSIDE STORY: Will the largest dam in Africa ever be completed? (24:50)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), announced in 2011, is designed to be the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, generating more than 6,000 megawatts.

The two nations disagree over the annual flow of water that should be guaranteed to Egypt and how to manage flows during droughts.

Egypt relies on the Nile for 90 percent of its freshwater and it wants the GERD’s reservoir to release a higher volume of water than Ethiopia is willing to guarantee, among other disagreements.

“An Egyptian expert can’t control our dam,” Sileshi said and described the Egyptian plan as a potential violation of Ethiopia’s sovereignty.

Sileshi did not say how much water Ethiopia wants to release, but Egypt wants the dam to release a minimum of 40 billion cubic metres (52 billion cubic yards) of water annually.

Following construction delays, Ethiopia has said GERD will start power production by the end of 2020 and be fully operational by 2022.

Explainer: Egypt fears losing water supply to Ethiopia mega-dam (2:16)
SOURCE: REUTERS NEWS AGENCY

Al Jazeera

1 COMMENT

  1. Since the base for Nile inception is Ethiopia, how could Egypt have overwhelming power on proposal.Though the previous treaties have so many bottlenecks. presently Ethiopia should continue on its persistence.
    Reckless proposal is also not good for Egypt as they are playing a game on Ethiopian people. It seems they are opportunistic to take advantage of the present political chaos in Ethiopia, though unlucky.

    As they are worrying about their people & development, equally should have a concern for poor Ethiopian people. Otherwise it is a greedy & selfish act.

    Initially it was an awkward thought by predicting about drought in Ethiopia and possible consequence on how to manage flows during droughts. Really, what it means????????????? So in this instance the word “greedy” has less weight for actions has been done by Egypt?

    Even tough the almighty god saves Ethiopia in any crisis in future, if any drought occurs Ethiopia is more vulnerable than Egypt as it is the source of flows. So one side proposal not good for all.

    So be rational and generative alternative or “B” plan as it is expected from any professionals.

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