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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid