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Battle against Egypt’s Nile dam power project

Egypt’s Nile dam power project has caused concern amongst both legal entities and political activists, who are preparing a lawsuit against the preliminary agreement signed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Albawaba News reported on Thursday.

The development of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), has raised concerns around its impact on the country’s long-term water supply, and its subsequent effect on the nation’s electricity supply.

Power project agreement

According to media, the deal was signed by Sisi, the Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in March 2015.

The proposed lawsuit suggests that the agreement is not in the interests of the Egyptian state. “The activists accuse the Ethiopian negotiators of taking advantage of the agreement and collecting international funding for the project,” Albawaba News said.

Stipulated in the agreement, are clauses that state that the construction of the dam is to not cause harm to other countries and in the event of damage, they will be compensated.

However, the Egyptian and Sudanese residents fear that should the dam collapse, they will lose their livelihoods, communities and homes.

The Nile dam

Media reported that 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.

Ethiopia began building the GERD in April 2011 at a cost of $4.7 billionn and the project is expected be completed in July.

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.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.


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