Ethiopia has reached its second-year goal of filling a mega-dam on the Blue Nile that has fueled tensions with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan, an official told AFP on Monday.
“The first filling was already done last year. The second is already done today. So today or tomorrow the second filling will be announced, ”the official said, adding that there is now enough water stored to start producing energy.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – GERD – has been a source of litigation since Ethiopia inaugurated the project in 2011.
Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat due to their reliance on the Nile waters, while Ethiopia considers it essential for its electrification and development.
Talks held under the auspices of the African Union did not result in a three-way deal on filling and operating the dam, and Cairo and Khartoum called on Addis Ababa to stop filling the huge reservoir. until such an agreement is reached.
But Ethiopian officials have argued that the filling is a natural part of the dam construction process and cannot be stopped.
The UN Security Council met earlier this month to discuss the project, although Ethiopia later called the session a “unnecessary” distraction from the AU-led process.
Reservoir filling began last year, with Ethiopia announcing in July 2020 that it had reached its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters.
# photo1 The target for this year’s rainy season was to add 13.5 billion cubic meters.
There is now enough water to install and operate the dam’s first two turbines, which would allow the project to start producing power for the first time, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
“I can’t say what time or this hour, but we will be generating electricity shortly with this necessary storage,” the official said.
© 2021 AFP