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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora