Sunday 18 March 2018

Nile nations fail to clinch deal on controversial dam

Nile nations fail to clinch deal on controversial dam
(APA 11/14/17)

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have failed to reach a watershed deal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a project Cairo fears would reduce its share of vital waters from the Nile River.

Upon completion, GERD will be Africa’s largest dam with 6,450 MW installed power generating capacity. It is being built for an estimated cost of 4.7 billion US dollars.

The disagreement came after the Water ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt held their 7th joint meeting on 11 and 12 November 2017 in Cairo, Egypt, APA learned in Addis Ababa on Monday.

The meeting was a continuation of the talks held on October 18, 2017 in Addis Ababa, aimed at discussing and reaching agreement on agendas not yet finished, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia.

Egypt’s repeatedly refusal to accept the recommendation to ratify the draft inception report and comments given by the three countries for the consulting firms were the main reasons for the delay of the study on the dam, it said.

The International Panel of Experts commissioned to report on the impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has handed its findings to the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

It has produced a lengthy, detailed and technical report after seeing all the documentation for the design, construction and related studies, holding six meetings and making four visits to the Dam site. It submitted one single final report based on consensus, and signed by all ten members of the panel.

It would be recalled that the three countries have established a tripartite national committee to follow up the two studies recommended by the International Panel of Expert’s (IPoE), the Ministry said.

Despite a failure to reach consensus at the Cairo meeting, ministers of the three countries showed their commitment to move forward and continue their meetings, it added.

Ministers of Water of the three countries visited the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project on 17 October 2017.

Hoping to further boost the level of existing transparency and, in turn, boost confidence among the three countries with regards to the dam, Ethiopia had facilitated the visit.

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