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Egypt, Sudan & Ethiopia to sign dam impact studies contract this week

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Sep 2016
GERD
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in close snapshot (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)
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Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are set to sign the contracts with two foreign consultancy firms hired to study the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) on downriver countries on 19-20 Sept in Khartoum, Egypt's irrigation ministry spokesman announced Saturday.

In statements to the state-owned MENA news agency, ministry spokesman Waleed Haqiqi said that the irrigation ministers of the three countries would sign the contracts in Sudan during the 12th meeting of the trilateral committee.

The newly announced dates for signing the contracts comes following a series of delays.

The delays were partly caused by "outstanding issues between the consultancy firms [BRL and Artelia] which are conducting the technical studies and the legal firm wording the contracts,” Egypt’s irrigation ministry has previously said.

The postponment also resulted from delays by Khartoum in granting entry visas to Sudan for firms' experts, according to the Egyptian ministry.

In March 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a trilateral declaration of principles that guarantees that all parties will take steps to ensure the Grand Ethiopian Dam would not harm the interests of any of the parties concerned.

Cairo previously expressed concerns that Ethiopia’s $4.2 billion dam could affect its historical share of Nile water, but has recently said it is sure the construction of the dam would not negatively impact Egypt.

Addis Ababa has maintained that the dam project, which Ethiopia needs to generate electicity, would not affect harm downstream countries.

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