Ethiopia to Accommodate Nations Concerned by Nile Dam (Correct)

5 mins read

By William Davison and Salma El Wardany
Bloomberg News

(Corrects to remove reference to amount of electricity in second paragraph of story first published yesterday.)

Ethiopia’s government said it will try to accommodate nations concerned that their water supplies may be affected by the damming of the Blue Nile River, as Sudanese and Egyptian officials met to discuss the issue.

Ethiopia, source of one of the two tributaries of the Nile River, will start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile at the “end of next year,” Deputy Prime Minister Debretsion Gebremichael said in an interview yesterday. The 80 billion-birr ($4.3 billion) hydropower project may begin generating of electricity next year and is set for completion in 2017, he said.

The schedule for filling the 74 billion cubic meter reservoir is expected to be a “major comsg4ncern” for the downstream nations of Egypt and Sudan, said Debretsion. Once completed, the power plant will be Africa’s largest with the capacity to generate 6,000 megawatts. Egypt, which relies on the Nile for almost all of its water, has historically opposed upstream projects on the world’s longest river.

“We are not selfish, we are not only looking at our national interest,” said Debretsion, who is also chairman of the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. “This is an international river and we will try our best to accommodate their benefits and their interests.”

Seeking Assurance

Sudanese Water Resources and Electricity Minister Osama Abdalla Mohamed al-Hassan arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, today to discuss the issue with Egyptian officials, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Egypt’s government and public are concerned that the dam may decrease the flow of the Nile, Mohamed Edrees, Egypt’s ambassador to Ethiopia, said in a phone interview today from Addis Ababa.

“Our concern is for it not to affect our water security, to harm the water coming to Egypt,” he said. “How to do it effectively on the ground and how to implement it, this is something to be left to the technicians to discuss and agree on.”

The dam, which will be twice the size of Singapore, will be full in “five to six years,” Ethiopian Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said at a ceremony to celebrate the diversion of the river yesterday in Guba, 454 kilometers (282 kilometers) northwest of Addis Ababa. “We won’t fill the reservoir at one go,” he said.

‘Broad Understanding’

Sudan’s government has had consultations with Ethiopia and Egypt and there is a “broad understanding on the issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abu-Bakr al-Siddiq said in a phone interview today from Khartoum, the capital.

“We don’t have any problem with what the Ethiopians have done,” he said. Edrees said the diversion has no “direct implication” as it doesn’t alter the flow of the river.

A technical committee made up of neutral experts and four representatives each from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt is expected to deliver a report on the project in a “few days,” Edrees said.

“Actual dam construction” can start after the diversion was carried out a “few days ago,” said Debretsion. The altering of the course was a milestone in the project as “we managed to direct Abay on our own side,” Alemayehu said, using the Amharic name for the Nile.

Members of the Ethiopian public have bought bonds worth more than 5 billion birr so far to pay for the dam, which will be financed from domestic sources only, Bereket Simon, who heads a fund-raising council for the project, said in an interview at the site yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net; William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

7 Comments

  1. “Getawun Kalnaku Atir Ayeneknku” ” flies are playing on foolish face”
    Our water is our oil who tells you the mighty blue Nile is priceless? Egypt is colonizer leave our brothers and sisters Coptic Christains home. Ethiopians Have the right to use all resourcefulness with out precondition. Well it is very simple and easy our people do not have electricity so pay cash!!! Just cash and our government will use alternative energy for the people of Ethiopians. It is to much. A fig tree grow nearby Acacia tree when ever it start grows bleeding. That is the only resource in place Oil that we have. Ethiopians Shall Stand together.

  2. EZKEAL 29:3
    Speak to him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “‘I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, you great monster lying among your streams. You say, “The Nile belongs to me; I made it for myself.”

  3. Why are hiding yourself behind a pseudo name, when you speak from the word of God? Who do you fear for speaking from the word of God? the Weyanes? You are quoting from the word of God to impress your readers. You don’t impress anyone by the verse you quoted out of its context. That scripture verse has nothing to do with the dam that your masters say they are building, and Ethiopia having exclusive right to Nile river.
    Building a dam and using it for irrigation or power is a noble cause; but being built by Weyane, there is a curse upon it!
    Anything that Weyane does or touches is tainted with sin!! now to those of you who are Weyanes mouth piece this is a hard pill to swallow!

    Weyane is a curse and has to go, before we see God’s blessing upon that nation!

    God shall remove the curse (Weyane) and shall heal the land in His time!
    Until then the struggle will continue in every hand!

  4. @yehayes:
    I respect your concern. Just calm down dear yeahes. We must have commonsense. Can you remove it if one of your finger is wounded? I don’t think so. With out these participation of every single Ethiopian, we can not achieve successful democracy. Forgiveness must be first and think what is better for our societies is a positive move. Well, you said many words to my comment that doesn’t bring any change I just say thank you. Here our government tries to built hydro electric power Nomatter what any single foreign ego must not interfere the move. I do not know about you but I will comment depend on the article but not hateful. Let me ask you how long we live misunderstood each other? I love TPLF bexause of shaleka mwlaku tefera. I am worried about TPLF BECAUSE OF WHAT I HEARED ABOUT OUR CHURCHES AND DISPLACED AMHARAN PEOPLE. I AM NOT SUPPORTINGTHIS AND HATING THAT FOR NOTHING. I BELIEVE TO BUILD strong Democratic nation as our body part we have to stand together. Do not mistaken bro. So what stop the project because Egypt and Sudan say so? Do not be extremism this is just comment share the best that makes you feel good and for others. Unless the Ogden, the South or Amharan they reach deal we can’t move forward. I do not think I am trying to impress anyone with vaguely broken Idea but I live this way. wither you say good or bad I will say what I feel about it. Go a head TPLF with this project we supported We must support the project. No to Egypt and Sudan. Our water is our oil everyone need it must pay cash. Not free. Our government must stand firm with our resources. This is what I feel about. When we come to The land given to Sudan I say no to Tplf that is really unfaithful and distressful. Finally, Nomatter how I am sinner, I read the scripture said anyone who hate his brother live in darkness. Do not hate everything what you see and thee politics’ passes .
    I hope you have free mind. God with you.

  5. ድንገት ከመቶ ዓመት ወዲህ ግብጽ የሚል ቃል መጣ አንጂ መታፉም የሚል ግብጥ ነው:: ዞሮ ዞሮ በዳይረአክት ኤክስቸንጅ ግብጽ ማለት ግብጾች ማለት ነው:: ፈለሰፈም አልፈለጸመ ግብጥ አባይ አባይ ግብጥ ትል ዞሮ ዞሮ ደር[ድሕር] ቡሽ ደግሞ ምን ይሆን? ሬብ ወንዝን ያየ ብዙ አይናገርም:: ግና Gypt Vs. Gybts ብዙ ሊጣፍ ይገባዋል:: ታንቆ መሞት ለአላ ታሞ መሞት ሌላ::ጦቢያ አና ጵጽረት የፕላጅያሪዝም ቫልነራብልተይ በራሷ በኢትዮጵያ ልጆች የተምታታ ዝም ብሎ መባያ ጥበብ ነው:: ኤ ሰጠን ቢ ..ሲ ሰጠን ዲ አይ አም ከረኤ ዳሽ አበሻ::

  6. አበሽ የብኦንድቢዝነስ አየትለሌ ገብቱዋል:: ያለም ዜና አንደናቱ መውረር የጀመረው ፪፪% በመድረሱ ነው:: ወደ አምሳ ገደማ በቀን አንዴ አንደ ቱሪዝም በቀር ሁሉም ነገር ኮብላይ አንደጥላ::

  7. Friend WHAT,
    I thank you for the response to my comment. I agree with you that forgiveness must be first. Love can forbear, and love can forgive, but love can never be reconciled to an unloving object (an unrepentant heart).
    God is able and willing to forgive any sin provided the sinner comes to him with a repentant heart asking for forgiveness, and by faith take the remedy God provided for sin; the Blood of His Son The Lord Jesus Christ!!
    For the past Twenty years I was hoping that there will be some among the TPLF (Weyane) elements that have some common sense left in them to bring a change to the evil and distractive way they are taking the nation.
    Now I have come to the conclusion that Weyane is in itself incapable of bring altered (changed).
    Can you name me one thing that they have done that has God’s blessing upon it! I mean one thing that the people of Ethiopia would look back and say ” we are thankful for this or that?” The Derge regime who is considered ruthless, had brought land reform, and brought an end to the Feudal system! they had brought “National Literacy Program” at least these two, to which any citizen of the country could look back, and be thankful!!
    Just name me one thing that Weyane has accomplished? War, Making the country land locked,tribalism,corruption from top to the bottom,sending the brightest and the best of the nation into exile, helplessness, hoplessness and despair among the young generation!?
    Here is what my bible reads in Proverbs 29:2 ” WHEN THE RIGHTEOUS ARE IN AUTHORITY THE PEOPLE REJOICE; BUT WHEN THE WICKED(that is what the weyanes are) BEARTH RULE, THE PEOPLE MOURN.” Yes, our people are mourning and weeping, all these years with this curse that fall upon them! Only God knows how long they will last!!
    Anyway,to expect that Weyane will change itself and take Ethiopian Identity is to me a wishful thinking!
    Friend, I don’t believe in luck; but, that is all I can say to you, “GOOD LUCK”!!

    God In His Time Will Take care of this Curse (Weyane) and shall heal the land!!

    But the Struggle will continue on until then!!

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