News / Africa

Row Over Water-Sharing as Nile Countries Meet

The construction of the dam in Asosa region Ethiopia, Apr. 2, 2013. Ethiopia started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to construct a giant dam, according to its state media, in a move that could impact the Nile-dependent Egypt.
The construction of the dam in Asosa region Ethiopia, Apr. 2, 2013. Ethiopia started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to construct a giant dam, according to its state media, in a move that could impact the Nile-dependent Egypt.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
A rift continued Thursday between Egypt and Ethiopia over a plan by Addis Ababa to build a huge dam on one of the tributaries of the River Nile, while an announcement by South Sudan that it has chosen more than a dozen potential dam sites along the river evoked little concern from Nile Basin Initiative countries meeting in Juba.

Egypt, which under a colonial-era law controls the biggest share of the Nile's waters, has been at loggerheads for months with Ethiopia over a plan by Addis Ababa to build a 6,000-megawatt dam with a 63 billion cubic meter reservoir on a tributary of the Nile. Cairo is worried that the dam would reduce the amount of water available in Egypt.

But Ethiopian’s Minister of Water, Alemayehu Tegenu, said his government is not ready to back off of its plans.

“The Nile is a common resource. The Nile is a gift to the population of the all Nile Basin Countries. We will not allow a single country to have full control of our shared resources. Conflicts and tensions over the utilization of the Nile are not helpful and will not lead to sustainable utilisation,” Tegenu said, adding that the new dam will help to solve power supply problems in Ethiopia.

Construction on the dam started two years ago on Ethiopia’s  Blue Nile River, whose basin accounts for about 75 percent of the water flowing into the lower Nile River.

Egypt’s Deputy Minister for Water Resources Ahmad Bah Eldein insisted his government does not want to deny any country the opportunity to make improvements, but said that Cairo would not overlook the security of its own people.

“Egypt has never been and will never be against the development of our brothers in the Nile Basin countries as long as this process doesn’t impact Egypt’s water security or hinder the spirit of cooperation amongst us,” he said.

Representatives of the two countries did not reach an agreement on the issue at the meeting, but said they will continue to discuss it.

Meanwhile, an announcement by South Sudan that it has  chosen 16 sites along the Nile to develop hydroelectric dams brought little concern from other NBI countries.

“We will optimise infrastructure for growth. In this regard, the potential for hydro-power generation from about 16 sites with installation capacity ranging from 3.5 to 700 megawatts has been marked," said South Sudan Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Paul Mayom Akec.

Six of the 10 NBI countries have already ratified an agreement that would replace the colonial-era laws that gave control of most of the Nile waters to Egypt and Sudan.

Akec announced earlier this week that South Sudan will sign the agreement, too, but Sudan and Egypt have both refused to put their names to it.

The Nile Basin Initiative member states are Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.


Earlier, we have listed South Africa as a member of the

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 21, 2013 10:15 AM
Isn't Ethiopia member of NBI? But you missed to mention it among the list. I dont think South Afrrica is also part of it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs