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Sudan's Nile water stations out of service due to multiple factors: Sudanese official

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Jul 2020
File photo: Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam(Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 4372

The Sudanese irrigation ministry has said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile is not among the main factors making some Nile water stations in Khartoum temporarily nonoperational.

Khartoum's water authority announced on Sunday that six of its Nile stations have gone out of service due to a sudden decline in the water levels on the Blue, White and Nile rivers.

The Sudanese announcement comes five days after the Sudanese ministry said it had recorded a decline in water levels on the Blue Nile coming from Ethiopia, amid contradictory reports over whether Addis Ababa has started filling the GERD unilaterally.

An official at the ministry told Sudan's state news agency (SUNA) on Monday that the water levels on the Nile and its tributaries in July are higher than in June, during which the water stations did not encounter any difficulties.

He called upon the local water departments in Khartoum and in the ministry to improve the exchange of information and coordination to ensure the best operating conditions for the water stations in the future.

Last week, the Ethiopian State TV quoted the country’s water minister Seleshi Bekele as saying that the country started filling the GERD’s reservoir. Hours later, however, the minister denied that the filling process had started, saying the swelling reservoir was the result of heavy rains.

The latest round of negotiations between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa failed to produce a deal or resolve major issues of contention over the hydropower project, which has been under construction on the Blue Nile near the Sudanese border since 2011.

The renewed talks were mediated by the African Union and observed by representatives from the US, the EU and South Africa -- the current chair of the AU.

A mini-African summit is due to be held on Tuesday to discuss the decade-long dispute.

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