A senior Sudanese official says Ethiopia commenced the second phase of filling the reservoir of the giant Grand Renaissance Dam in early May. The process is expected to be hastened in July and August after seasonal rains.
More work on the dam already allows for the commencement of the second phase. Ethiopia began filling the facilities of the dam in 2020. The dam is in the advance stage of construction on the Blue Nile which shares a border with Sudan. The move has unsettled authorities in Sudan and Egypt.
They have sought legally binding pact on the dam’s operation and have stepped up their efforts to secure one ahead of the second phase filling.
The hydropower dam, Ethiopia reckons, is critical to its economic future. It also says it is asserting its full rights over Nile waters long held by downstream countries under colonial-era agreements.
The reservoir accumulated 4.9 billion cubic metre of water by the first round of filling in July 2020. Egypt relies mainly on the Nile for most of its fresh water and sees the dam as potentially existential threat. Sudan is more concerned over its Nile dams and water station operations.