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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs