News / Africa

Addis Ababa: Egypt Shouldn't Worry About Nile Dam

This picture taken April 2, 2013 shows the construction of the dam in Asosa Region of Ethiopia.
This picture taken April 2, 2013 shows the construction of the dam in Asosa Region of Ethiopia.
Marthe van der Wolf
Ethiopia says there is no reason for Egypt to worry about the massive hydroelectric dam it is building on the Blue Nile, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile River.  Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile last week as it moves ahead with construction of the dam, despite concerns from Egypt and Sudan.

Ethiopia’s Water Minister Alemayehu Tegenu says construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam poses no threat to Egypt or Sudan, two countries that depend heavily on the Nile for their water supply.

“We do not have any plan to harm downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt.  If Egypt has some issues to discuss with Ethiopia, we are very ready to discuss," said Alemayehu Tegenu.

There are fears the dam could spark regional tension.  Ethiopia's move to divert the Blue Nile sparked protests last week at the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo.  Some Egyptians have asked to bring the matter to the International Court of Justice for arbitration.

Both countries must accept arbitration before it can take place, but Alemayehu says Ethiopia will not accept such intervention.

“No, there is no point of going to an international court.  I do not see any issues that bring the issue to that level," he said.

A committee with experts from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia worked on a report for more than a year to study the possible impacts of the dam, including reduced river flow.

n this file photo of January 22, 2013, a traditional felucca sailing boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.n this file photo of January 22, 2013, a traditional felucca sailing boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
x
n this file photo of January 22, 2013, a traditional felucca sailing boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
n this file photo of January 22, 2013, a traditional felucca sailing boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
The report, released to governments on Friday night, concluded that construction of the dam is meeting international standards, but that further assessments are needed on environmental and social issues.

Ethiopia began diverting the Nile last Tuesday, three days before the release of the panel’s report.  Water Minister Alemayehu says those two things are not related.

“We have done the river diversion as per the schedule we have set earlier," he said. "River diversion does not to stop the flow of water to the downstream countries.  River diversion means it is the rerouting of the river flow to facilitate the construction in the riverbed, nothing else.”

Ethiopia began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam two years ago, near to the Sudanese border, with the goal of becoming Africa’s main power producer.  The estimated construction cost of the dam will be close to $5 billion.

More than 85 percent of the Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia, but Sudan and Egypt were given the lion's share of the water in colonial-era treaties many decades ago.

About 20 percent of the dam has been constructed.  The project is not scheduled for completion until 2017, but Ethiopia hopes to start producing power as early as next year.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Samson Tsedke from: Addis Ababa
June 05, 2013 2:41 AM
the unspoken intentions to stop us from using Nile and possibly wage a war against our 21st century Economic plan is something Ethiopian politicians should keep at the back of their head...it's always better to be prepared and still continue a peaceful relationship with Egypt than be surprised.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More