Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam under construction on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, in September last year. Picture: Tiksa Neger/Reuters
Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam under construction on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, in September last year. Picture: Tiksa Neger/Reuters

Ethiopia denies filling Nile Renaissance Dam without Egyptian agreement

By DPA Time of article published Jul 16, 2020

Share this article:

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia on Wednesday denied reports it is

filling the reservoir of Africa's largest dam on the Nile without

agreement from downstream Egypt and Sudan.

Water had solely increased in the 4.6-billion-dollar Grand Ethiopian

Renaissance Dam (GERD) due to seasonal, heavy rainfall, Ethiopian

Minister of Water and Irrigation Seleshi Bekele told dpa.

"There is a lot of water going through. There is heavy rainfall and

the inflow is much greater than the outflow," Seleshi said.

The increased water level had caused various local and international

media to report that Ethiopia has started to fill the dam on

Wednesday.

Sudan's Water Ministry responded to the reports late on Wednesday,

saying relevant agencies had measured water levels of the Blue Nile

and confirmed they were down.

"It was evident from the flow meters in the Dimim border station with

Ethiopia that there is a retreat in the water levels, equivalent to

90 million cubic meters per day, confirming the closure of the gates

of the Renaissance Dam," a statement said.

Sudan would continue to closely monitor the developments and act to

protect its national interest, the statement added, before condemning

any unilateral action.

The dam, which Ethiopia has been building since 2010 on the Blue

Nile, has long caused animosity with Egypt.

Recently, decade-long arduous talks involving the two downstream

countries, Egypt and Sudan, reached a deadlock, with Egypt turning to

the UN Security Council in June.

Egypt seeks a legally binding deal that would guarantee the

appropriate flows of water and a legal mechanism for resolving

disputes before the dam starts operating.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also warned Ethiopia against

going it alone. The country considers Ethiopia's threat to fill the

74-billion-cubic-metre reservoir this month both unacceptable and

illegal.

Ethiopia wants the hydroelectric dam in order to expand its power

exports, whereas Egypt relies almost exclusively on the Nile for

farming, industry and domestic water use.

It is concerned that the GERD's sluices will control water flow in

ways that will make life difficult for Egyptians.

Ethiopia says Egyptian concerns are baseless.

dpa

Share this article: