Sudan records highest Nile water levels in a century

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Aug 2020

The flood in Sudan has reached 17.43 metres and may increase over the next few days, the irrigation ministry said

A bird flies over the convergence between the White Nile river and Blue Nile river in Khartoum, Sudan, February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Sudan's irrigation ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Khartoum's Nilometer has recorded the highest level in the ministry's records from the past hundred years.

Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said that the Nile level had reached 17.43 metres and is expected to increase over the next few days, urging citizens and the concerned authorities to take precautions.

On Sunday, the Egyptian irrigation ministry said that coordination was taking place around the clock between Cairo and Khartoum in the framework of mutual cooperation, exchange of data and information, and shared Nile measurements at some measurement stations.

The Egyptian ministry said that officials had reviewed past years’ data, models and forecasts and that the data indicates that rainfall is increasing at the sources of the Nile.

"The preliminary indications of the Nile flood show that it is likely to be higher than average and that the incoming water throughout August is higher than the same month of last year," the ministry said in a statement.

The committee responsible "is in a continuous session" to take the necessary measures to deal with the floods this year, the Egyptian statement read.

Egypt and Sudan have been in talks with Ethiopia to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the massive hydroelectric dam Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

A new round of AU-sponsored tripartite talks was launched last month and attended by the US and EU have already stalled twice. There was a hiatus between 27 July and 3 August, after Ethiopia announced it had completed the first phase of filling the reservoir, followed by another halt when Sudan called for a suspension of meetings to allow for consultations after Addis Ababa’s proposed a package of non-binding guidelines for the filling of the mega-dam.

Egypt, which relies on the Nile for 95 percent of its fresh water, fears the $4.8 billion hydropower dam will diminish its water supply.

Sudan has expressed concerns that the project could endanger its own dams.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, says the project is key to its development and hopes to become Africa’s biggest exporter of electric power with the GERD, which is set to be the continent’s largest dam. 

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