Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati – Press Photo
CAIRO – 23 November 2017: Spokesperson for the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Hosam al-Imama affirmed that the Renaissance Dam is an issue for all state institutions to consider and does not belong particularly to one entity to deal with.
He also denied the statements that some media outlets had published, which said that the Irrigation Ministry’s role in the Dam negotiations has ended. Imama called for all outlets to be more accurate when talking about the dam’s issue.
On November 12, the last meeting of the Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD), which was hosted in Cairo, concluded without reaching an agreement regarding the guidelines suggested by a study on the dam’s potential effects on the Nile Basin States, according to Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Aati.
He issued a statement shortly after the meeting explaining that although Egypt agrees with the study’s guidelines, the other two parties of the TNCRD did not express consensus and called for amendments.
A report based on the study presents these guidelines by which Ethiopia can fill its reservoir without harming the water flow into Egypt and Sudan. The $4 billion dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.
Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern over how the dam can reduce the country’s annual share of more than 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Egypt’s average water per-capita is expected to drop from 663 cubic meters per year to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Addis Ababa, however, claimed that the dam is necessary for Ethiopia’s development and will not harm downstream countries.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed a tripartite joint cooperation agreement in Khartoum on March 23, 2015, between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. In December 2015, Sisi addressed the public, saying that there is no reason to worry about the dam and that the matter would be resolved. The three countries held 14 rounds of consultation on resolving the disputes over the Renaissance Dam. However, these rounds failed to solve the dispute.
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