Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ethiopian minister: Renaissance dam 'a reality no matter what' upset Egyptian oppositions

Technical studies will assess the dam's impact but will not assess whether or not to build the dam, the minister said

Ahram Online , Friday 27 May 2016

An archival for the establishment process of Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam (Photo: Al Ahram)
Ethiopia's communication minister said Friday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has become a "reality," and "no matter what happens, things will not change," Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.

Minister Getachew Reda, speaking to London-based newspaper in Khartoum, said that 50 percent of construction work on the dam had been completed and most of the dam's civil engineering projects were complete.
“When turbines are installed, 70 percent of the project will be complete,” he said.
Egypt has repeatedly expressed concern over the dam's possible effect on the country's supply of Nile water. Ethiopia has denied the dam would negatively affect Egypt, but the two countries, alongside Sudan, have agreed to conduct impact studies on the dam.
Reda stated that “Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have agreed on the technical committees. Furthermore, we haven’t promised to stop construction work pending the completion of technical studies.”
“These committees are specialised in studying whether the dam would harm Sudan or Egypt and not whether to build or not to build the dam,” he added.
“The dam will not harm the interests of Sudan and Egypt,” Reda stressed. “The Egyptians have finally understood that it is necessary to reach some kind of understanding, which compels us to work together.”
"The people of the three countries will benefit from it,” he said.
“But if some (parties) believe that they will be harmed by it, then this is not Ethiopia’s problem,” he added.
In December 2015, President El-Sisi addressed the public, saying that there is no reason to worry about the dam and that the matter would be resolved.
The hydroelectric dam is under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia's highlands.

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