Egypt and Ethiopia on collision course over Nile River water resources

Johannesburg – Egypt and Ethiopia appear to be on a collision course over water resources from the River Nile after Addis Ababa confirmed that it is proceeding with its construction and operation of a hydropower dam on the Nile which Cairo worries will threaten its already scarce water supplies.

Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile which joins the White Nile in Khartoum, Sudan, and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will not disrupt the river’s flow and hopes the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project will transform it into a power hub for the electricity-hungry region, the East African reported.

Diplomatic tensions between the neighbouring countries have spiked following years of unfruitful talks to resolve the issue despite both countries signing a declaration of principles with Sudan in 2015 as the basis for further negotiations.

Almost 90 percent of Egypt’s water supply comes from the Nile.

In early October, Ethiopia rejected an Egyptian proposal as an attempt “to maintain a self-claimed colonial era-based water allocation and veto power on any project in the Nile system”.

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