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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

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