Ethiopia’s minister of water, electricity and irrigation, Seleshi Bekele, said the country will continue construction of its mega hydroelectric dam on the Nile, which is already 60% complete.
The east African country shares the Nile River with North Africa’s Egypt, who recently raised concerns over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) potential impact on its water supply.
Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, issued a stern warning to Ethiopia last week over the project saying “water is a matter of life or death,” and that “no one can touch Egypt’s share of water,” CCE Online reported.
The Nile provides the bulk of Egypt’s drinking water, irrigates the Nile Delta and generates nearly half of the country’s electricity through the operation of the Aswan High Dam.
Concern over Nile water supply
However, earlier this year, political activists were preparing a lawsuit against the preliminary agreement signed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Albawaba for the development of GERD. Read more…
The proposed lawsuit suggested that the agreement is not in the interests of the Egyptian state. It raised concerns around its impact on the country’s long-term water supply, and its subsequent effect on the nation’s electricity supply.
“The activists accuse the Ethiopian negotiators of taking advantage of the agreement and collecting international funding for the project,” Albawaba News reported at the time. Read more…
Past reports on the Nile development
In early 2016, Egypt withdrew itself from the East African Power Pool (EAPP) due to concerns around member states looking to develop hydropower plants along the Nile River.
According to media at the time, the north African country turned down the document to adopt the master plan for the EAPP’s hydropower projects in Ethiopia and Sudan, which are both located along the Nile River.
The EAPP master plan will act as a blueprint for regional power integration over the next 25 years.
The master plan includes the construction of transmission lines, which will be implemented between 2016 and 2017 and commissioned by 2020, The East African reported.
“The lines include Sudan-Ethiopia; Rwanda-Tanzania; Uganda-South Sudan and Uganda-Kenya. The Libya-Egypt and Egypt-Sudan interconnections will wait until Egypt’s concerns are addressed,” media reported.
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