Egypt-Ethiopia: Dam redesign request turned down

Egypt’s request to increase the water outlets of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from two to four has been rejected by Addis Ababa.

During the latest tripartite meeting on the dam, Ethiopia said the design was in accordance with the “intensive studies” conducted before the construction began. Cairo wants the design to be reviewed as it fears that the dam will hinder the flow of water downstream.

Bizuneh Tolcha, Public Relations Director at the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Irrigation told state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) that “Ethiopia does not need to redesign the dam project” which will help, upon completion, to fight poverty and promote development and prosperity.

The dam, located some 25 km away from the Sudanese border, will have the capacity to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity with a reservoir big enough to hold more than the volume of the entire Blue Nile, the tributary on which it sits.

Despite Ethiopian assurances, Cairo deems the $4.2billion massive project as a threat to the livelihood of Egyptians.

Ethiopia is a source to 85% of the Nile water resources and most of Egypt’s over 80 million people depend on the Nile for water supply.

Ethiopia insists that the dam will produce only power and that the water pushing the turbines will ultimately come out the other side but Egypt fears that the dam water reserves will also be used for irrigation, cutting downstream supply.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3682 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network