Foreign consultants miss Renaissance Dam deadline; Egypt concerned

Ahram Online , Sunday 6 Sep 2015

The two European consultancy firms already had the deadline pushed back from August

A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi expressed on Sunday Egypt’s concern about the failure of foreign consultancy firms to submit reports on the impact of the Renaissance Dam, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Two foreign consultancy firms, France's BRL and Dutch group Deltares, were supposed to reach an agreement and deliver their reports on 5 September to a tripartite committee of representatives and experts from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

They missed a deadline last August and forced the tripartite committee to schedule the new deadline of 5 September after a meeting in Addis Ababa.

The three countries had agreed to give 70 percent of the research workload to the French consultancy firm with the Dutch firm getting the rest.

It is not clear why the consultancy firms did not deliver their reports to the committee on time.

However, Moghazi asserted that Egypt is committed to the "declaration of principles" which they signed with Sudan and Ethiopia in March 2015, agreeing to safeguard the interests of all three countries.

Egypt is expected to discuss the situation with Ethiopia and Sudan to determine the best course of action for the three countries.

Egypt has previously voiced concerns about its share of the Nile's water.

According to the irrigation ministry, Egypt is suffering from a water deficit of 20 billion cubic meters, which it compensates through water recycling, an inadvisable process in the long run.

The Renaissance Dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.

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