The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Courtesy of Ethiopia's water ministry)
Ethiopian Minister of Water and Irrigation Seleshi Bekele expected on Monday a possible flood in downstream countries as highlands have witnessed heavy rainfall.
In a tweet, Bekele said that rain over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is pouring at a rate of 6,000 cubic metres per second. The Ethiopian minister said the water in the massive dam’s reservoir has already surcharged by five metres due to the downpour.
Separately, Bekele called the GERD a “guardian” for downstream countries, claiming that it contributes to reducing floods and raising water during drought.
Tensions between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia were aggravated earlier this month after Ethiopia informed Egypt and Sudan that it had started the second phase of filling the dam’s reservoir, a step that the two downstream countries have condemned.
Ethiopia said earlier in July that it has completed the second stage of filling the dam’s reservoir.
Egypt and Sudan have been calling for a binding deal on the filling and operation of the dam that would preserve their water rights and protect their people against potentially significant harm.
Their demand has been met with Ethiopian resistance, leading rounds of African Union-sponsored talks to collapse and causing Egypt and Sudan to resort to the United Nations Security Council earlier this month.