Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 18 January 2012 – A joint tripartite technical committee set up by the governments of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan has began assessing the possible impacts of the massive hydro-power dam project Ethiopia intends to build in the Blue Nile River.
Ethiopia proposed the establishment of the technical team to create transparency and to guarantee Sudan and Egypt that the construction of the dam would not affect their downstream water share negatively.
The aim is also to further create better understanding between the countries and to allow them to engage in continued cooperation serving their mutual interests.
The three-party committee which embraces four international professionals and six experts drawn from the three countries, has held its first meeting here, and will have its second gathering in Sudan.
Last year, Ethiopia launched the construction of a US$4.8 billion dam project on the Blue Nile River near the Sudanese border, raising angry protests from downstream countries of Sudan and Egypt that historically had controlled most of the Nile’s water resources under a colonial era treaty. Ethiopia is a source to over 80% of the Nile’s water and argues that it has right to execute development projects.
Ethiopian experts say the construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam will not harm Egypt and Sudan which, they say, will benefit from the electricity it generates. The dam will also regulate the water flow and help control flooding risks to their dams.