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Blue Nile dam won't affect Egypt's water supply: Ethiopian minister

Ethiopian officials attempt to reassure Cairo that Grand Renaissance Dam project won't adversely affect latter's water supply, invite relevant Egyptian authorities to 'discuss' issue

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Jun 2013
Ethiopia
File photo: The sun sets over the river Nile in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Ethiopian Water Resources Minister Alemayehu Tegenu sent a reassuring message to Egypt on Tuesday, asserting that his country's planned Grand Renaissance Dam would not affect Egypt's traditional supply of Nile water.

"We do not have any plan to harm downstream countries Sudan and Egypt," Tegenu was quoted as saying in a statement carried on the Ethiopian foreign ministry's website.

Tegenu went on to invite Egyptian authorities to discuss the issue. "If Egypt has some issues to discuss with Ethiopia, we are very ready to discuss them," he was quoted as saying.

Last week, Ethiopian authorities began diverting a part of the Blue Nile – the primary source of Egypt's Nile water – in preparation for the dam's construction. The move was met with consternation and anger on the part of Egyptian officialdom.

Shortly afterward, however, Egyptian irrigation ministry officials hastened to point out that the move would not impact Egypt's traditional allotment of Nile water.

Tegenu, for his part, reiterated this assertion, saying: "The river diversion means it is the rerouting of the river flow to facilitate the construction in the riverbed – nothing else."

Meanwhile, a trilateral technical committee – consisting of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – announced this week that its long-awaited report was "inconclusive"as to the planned dam's effects on Egypt and Sudan.

However, the Ethiopian foreign ministry's statement noted that the report, while still confidential, "has concluded that the construction of the dam is meeting international standards and will not significantly affect the lower riparian states" – in a reference to both Egypt and Sudan.

According to Egypt's National Planning Institute, Egypt will likely need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050 – on top of its current 55-billion-metre quota – to meet the water needs of a projected population of 150 million.

On Tuesday, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Bahaa El-Din warned that Egypt would "not allow anyone to touch our share of Nile water, which is a matter of life and death for Egypt,"going on to stress the country's lack of alternative water resources.

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Quiha
07-06-2013 07:42pm
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Hidase Dam
the water is enough for ethiopia and the dawnstream countries. why are egyptrians try to interupt to the constraction. showing power up is not the solution and not benefited in all over the worled at this time. if they worked together they can produce more than they have. otherwise they can loss what they have. though they have to discess for the solution cooperetly.
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Bire
05-06-2013 01:25pm
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A not-so-good claim
Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Bahaa El-Din warned that Egypt would "not allow anyone to touch our share of Nile water, which is a matter of life and death for Egypt," Sir, may I question who gave you "your share"? Your colonial lords declared it! And it is obsolete now -nullified. Times has changed sir, and you are expected to change with it or keep fooling yourself. It is in your & your colleagues hands to make the future of your children a bit easier. A concerned person just upstream sends you well wishes, and gift (the most fertile soils from the highlands of Ethiopia) by a trusted messenger-the Blue Nile.
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SB
05-06-2013 03:20am
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Mr
Ofcourse it will affect the Nile ....in times of water scarcity Egypt will not get enough water from the Nile and more water will be lost by evaporation because of increased surface area...if ethiopia is allowed a dam other countries will follow and it will be a disaster Egypt must use force if needed
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segad
05-06-2013 08:32pm
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Then you can go on buddy
If you really Think Ethiopia will stop building the dam by military action.......then go on.n.
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Zereyaquob
05-06-2013 12:23am
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Tell the whole truth
Sir, you write, "By year 2050 the projected population of Egypt will be 150 million." According wikipedia (see link below) the number is 137,873 with annual growth of 0.90 percent. That is not my point. I would like to draw your attention to other statistics. You know, sir, a partial datum can be very cheating. By 2010 the population of all Nile basin countries was roughly 450 million. This number will sky-rocket to about a billion, by 2050 that is.According the same source, by 2010 there were 88,013 million Ethiopians. The number by 2050 is a staggering 278,283 million with, note this number, annual growth of 2.53. You see,sir, by 2050 strange numbers happen elsewhere,too, be it in the Nile basin, be it in Ethiopia. Get this straight. The Nile is not only about Egypt. It is also about us. Let us sit and talk about its intelligent and equitable use. God bless Ethiopia!
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