Ethiopian Renaissance Dam- photo is a screenshot from Google maps
CAIRO - 25 July 2017: Egypt reiterated its denial to media reports claiming that Ethiopia has started filling its reservoir of the under-construction Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
“Media reports claiming that Ethiopia has started filling the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam is groundless,” Spokesperson of Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation told Egypt Today Hossam el-Imam on Tuesday.
On July 13, the Ministry spokesperson affirmed in a statement that water accumulation in the reservoir is not a filling process but a result of the annual Nile flooding indicating that it is a small amount not affecting Egypt.
“Some media outlets took the press release issued by the Ministry on Wednesday out of context reporting that the filling of the dam’s reservoir has started,” he said, noting that the Blue Nile’s flooding season, which starts in June and ends in September.
Al-Monitor website reported on July 12 that satellite images showed that Addis Ababa started the filling process via pooling 200 million cubic meters in its reservoir.
The construction of the dam chilled relations between Addis Ababa and Cairo. Egypt said the construction would affect its share of Nile water, whereas Ethiopia has claimed the dam is necessary for its development. But in a move some have seen as a thaw, both states, along with Sudan, agreed to the tripartite talks that started in August 2014. The three countries sign agreement on Renaissance Dam to guarantee Egypt’s share of 55 billion cubic meters of the Nile water.
The filling process in the dam is abound to the Declaration of Principles signed in March 2015 including the cooperation of the three countries – Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan – to deploy the final output of joint studies in order to settle on the guidelines and rules for the first filling of the dam as well as the annual operating rules.
Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It is built by the Italian constructions and engineering company Sallini Impregilo headquartered in Milan.