Ethiopia will not let 'Renaissance Dam' harm Egypt: Egyptian presidency

Ahram Online, Wednesday 24 Apr 2013

Ethiopia's plans to store 84 billion cubic metres of Blue Nile water via a new dam should not affect Egypt, says Egyptian presidency spokesperson

File photo: The sun sets over the river Nile in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Ethiopia will not let its in-construction Renaissance Dam affect Egypt, reported the Arabic-language state news website Al-Ahram, citing the spokesperson of the Egyptian presidency Wednesday.

Ehab Fahmy said that if the dam has a negative impact, Ethiopians will "understand the situation and not allow harm to befall Egypt in the light of the historic ties between the two counties and the other Nile Basin countries" .

Fahmy added that the joint committee between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan tasked with handling the matter did not finalise their mission concerning the impact of the renaissance dam on Egypt’s quota of Nile water.

The committee has been meeting for almost two years to examine the construction plan for the dam, which Ethiopia started building with the intention of storing 84 billion cubic metres of water. The water stored will then generate electricity sufficient for its own use and for exports to neighbouring countries, not excluding Egypt.

The Renaissance Dam is one of four dams analysts say could be built along the Blue Nile, which provides Egypt with about 60 percent of its annual 55 million cubic metres of Nile water.

Egypt and Ethiopia are members of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), a partnership among Nile states aimed at sharing the river's socio-economic benefits and promoting regional security.

Ten countries are involved in the initiative: Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

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