Ethiopia resumes filling disputed dam

#GS3 #DAM CONSTRUCTION

Context: 

Ethiopia has started the second phase of filling a mega-dam’s reservoir on the upper blue nile raising tension among Egypt and Sudan.

Background:

  • Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam hydropower project in 2011 on the Blue Nile tributary that runs across one a part of the country. it'll be Africa’s largest dam.  
  • While Ethiopia has stated that it doesn't need Egypt’s permission to fill the dam.  
  • Egypt on the opposite hand, wrote to the UN Security Council , saying the dam would jeopardise food and water security and livelihoods of ordinary Egyptian citizens.  
  • Sudan too believes Ethiopia having control over the river through the dam may affect its own water supplies.
  • For the past four years, tri party talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are unable to succeed in agreements.  
  • This dispute may evolve into a full-fledged conflict between the 2 nations.  
Ethiopia Resumes Filling Nile Mega-dam Reservoir, Angering Egypt

Important points:

  • Both Egypt and Sudan stated that that they had been notified by Ethiopia that the second phase of filling had begun at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
  • Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry expressed its firm rejection of this unilateral measure.
  • Sudan’s Foreign Ministry followed suit, labelling the move a risk and imminent threat.

About Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD):

  • It is formerly referred to as the Millennium Dam.
  • It is under construction within the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia, on the Blue Nile River.
  • It is Africa's biggest hydropower project, and concerns control of the flow of water within the world’s longest river among the riparian states.  
  • Ethiopia views the mega dam as a symbol of its sovereignty and it began construction of the dam in 2011 at a price of $4 billion.  
  • Ethiopian government wants to increase power supply to some 60% of the country’s population and bridge the infrastructure gap.
  • The government is thus impatient to fill the large reservoir within six years, and generate 6,000 MW of electricity.

 

 

SOURCE: THE HINDU 

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