Egypt and Ethiopia are involved in a conflict over the construction of the Nile River dam. Photo/Reuters
CAIRO – Egypt voiced its anger after Ethiopia announced it had filled the reservoir at its highly controversial hydroelectric dam on the Nile River.
Ethiopia has been at odds with Egypt and Sudan over the megaproject since it was launched in 2011. Egypt relies on the Nile River for almost all of its water needs.
Egypt’s foreign ministry said Ethiopia was ignoring the interests of downstream countries. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in
The following are 5 facts about the background to the Nile River conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia.
1. Starting with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
According to Reuters, the USD 4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was announced in early 2011, when Egypt was in political upheaval following the popular uprising that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak.
The dam is central to Ethiopia’s efforts to become Africa’s largest electricity exporter, with an estimated capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts.
Ethiopia says it will start filling the reservoir behind the dam in 2020, although construction has been hampered by delays.
The first stage of filling process is estimated to take two years and bring the water level in the reservoir to 595 meters from a total of 632 meters.
2. Struggle for Nile River Water
The Nile Valley river system flows through 11 countries. The Blue Nile and White Nile rivers merge in Sudan before flowing into Egypt and on to the Mediterranean.
Egypt currently bases its sharing of the river’s water on a 1959 agreement that provided 55.5 billion cubic meters of water annually and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters of water annually.