Egypt concerned as Ethiopia diverts course of Nile river

PTI Cairo | Updated on November 21, 2017 Published on May 29, 2013

Ethiopia today started to divert the course of the Blue Nile river for the construction of a giant dam which has become a source of crisis in Egypt.

Egyptian water and irrigation experts have warned against the impact of the proposed Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Egypt’s share of Nile water despite the Egyptian authority stressing the amount of the water which reaches Egypt will not be affected.

Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre Christos refuted claims that his country’s project to build the dam on a tributary of the Nile River would affect Egypt’s share of the river water.

About 84 per cent of the water in the world’s longest river originates in Ethiopia.

Experts say the ramifications of the dam will be catastrophic for Egypt.

During the years it would take for the dam to fill up Egypt would suffer a loss between 11 and 19 billion cubic meters of water, every four billion will cause desertification of a million acres and hence two million families will lose their income, experts fear.

Another harmful effect will be the amount of salt in Egyptian soil which will harm the productivity of the land.

The dam could result in a 25-40 per cent decrease in the electricity generated from the High Dam and hence Upper Egypt might experience total darkness, experts say.

Egyptian diplomats issued a statement today stating they are in talks with Ethiopia on the issue of the dam and are already acknowledging Ethiopia’s right to development projects and to generate electricity.

Former Foreign Minister and Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa today called on the Government to preserve Egypt’s national security and interests.

Published on May 29, 2013
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