Egypt concerned over speedy construction of Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia

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Egypt concerned over speedy construction of Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia

Egypt has raised concerns over the speed at which the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia is being constructed terming it as too fast.

According to officials from Egyptian side the high speed at which they are constructing the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia is hindering the strong commitment to complete technical studies on the effect of the dam.

The concerns emerged Tuesday when Egyptian Spokesperson for the Renaissance Dam and advisor to the Minister of Water Resources Alaa Yassin stressed the political significance of the studies, which should be conducted in a timely manner “before it is too late”.

He said that during their 9th meeting with various stakeholders involved in Cairo on 8 and 9 November, Egypt denounced the delay of the studies after disputes erupted between the French and Dutch companies assigned to conduct the studies.

Egypt’s main concern since the GERD’s establishment n 2011 is its high storage capacity, which reaches 74bn cubic meters, over fears of affecting its national water security.

As per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959 in Ethiopia’s absence, downstream countries Egypt and Sudan together receive the majority of Nile Water.

Egypt annually receives 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total 84bn cubic metres of Nile water produced each year, while Sudan receives 18.5bn cubic metres. Britain had signed the initial 1929 on behalf of Egypt, its then-colony.

Ethiopia began constructing the dam in 2011 and since then Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in a diplomatic dispute, which reached a peak in 2013, following ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s threats.

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