Note: Ethiopian regime uses every venue to divert attention from the internal tensions. Dissatisfaction of every section of the society, region, ethnics, etc. is growing from day to day and it is on the verge of eruption. Old tactics of stifling revolts by pitting one on the other are running out. The remaining resort is to internationalize it, to pretend people’s advocate. Very funny.
By Aaron Maasho
May 28, 2013 (Reuters) – Ethiopia began diverting a stretch of the
Nile on Tuesday to make way for a $4.7 billion hydroelectric dam that is
worrying downstream countries dependent on the world’s longest river
The Horn of Africa country has laid out plans to invest more than $12
billion in harnessing the rivers that run through its rugged highlands,
to become Africa’s leading power exporter.
Centrepiece to the plan is the Grand Renaissance Dam being built in
the Benishangul-Gumuz region bordering Sudan. Now 21 percent complete,
it will eventually have a 6,000 megawatt capacity, the government says,
equivalent to six nuclear power plants.
“The dam is being built in the middle of the river so you can’t carry
out construction work while the river flowed,” said Mihret Debebe,
chief executive officer of the state-run Ethiopian Electric Power
Corporation, at a ceremony at the site.
“This now enables us to carry out civil engineering work without
difficulties. The aim is to divert the river by a few metres and then
allow it to flow on its natural course.”
Ethiopia’s ambitions have heightened concerns in Egypt over fears the
projects may reduce the river’s flow. Addis Ababa has long complained
that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to
Ethiopia’s energy minister moved to dispel fears over the dam’s impact.
“The dam’s construction benefits riparian countries, showcases fair
and equitable use of the river’s flow and does not cause any harm on any
country,” Alemayehu Tegenu said in a speech.
Mohamed Bahaa El-Din, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and
Irrigation, said Cairo was not opposed to Ethiopia’s development
projects as long as they did not harm downstream countries.
“Crises in the distribution and management of water faced in Egypt
these days and the complaints of farmers from a lack of water confirms
that we cannot let go of a single drop of water from the quantity that
comes to us from the Upper Nile,” he said.
A panel of experts from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan is set to announce
its findings on the impact of the Ethiopian dam on the Nile’s flow in
the next two weeks.