The fourth filling of GERD – Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

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The fourth filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is set to begin despite opposition from neighboring Egypt, which claims the $4.2 billion structure will reduce its vital share of the river’s water. This was announced by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister on Monday. Egypt relies on the Nile for about 97 percent of its irrigation needs and insists the dam poses an “existential” threat to countries downstream. Ethiopia regards the ambitious national Project as essential for its electrification and development.

The Fourth filling of $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been at the center of a regional dispute since Ethiopia started the project in 2011.

“GERD is now approaching its fourth landfill. The last three landfills have not affected the lower riparian states. It will be no different with the other landfills,” said Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia. “The project is almost complete, despite rhetoric from some actors who want to monopolize use of the shared African river.” he added.

The meeting included a “high-level ministerial round table” attended by Demeke and his counterparts of foreign ministers from a number of Nile Basin states such as South Sudan, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, but neither Sudan nor Egypt was represented.

Khartoum and Cairo have already mentioned the dam as a threat due to its dependence on Nile water and have repeatedly called on Addis Ababa to stop the Fourth filling of Ethiopia’s controversial dam

Read more: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Project

Egypt and Sudan have been in talks with Ethiopia for more than a decade to reach a comprehensive and legally binding agreement to build the GERD, but despite their concerns about the dam, Ethiopia has continued to unilaterally backfill the dam’s $74 billion reservoir of cubic meters in the last three years and the fourth filling begins.