Ethiopia Completes Second Stage Filling of GERD

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

Reports from an Ethiopian Official confirmed on Monday that the horn of Africa nation has successfully completed the second phase of filling its mega-dam on the Nile (GERD), a source of tension with its downstream neighbors on the river, Sudan and Egypt.

The official disclosed that “the first filling was carried out last year, the second is now completed and will be formally announced today or tomorrow,” adding that the amount of water stored was now sufficient to ensure energy production.

The “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” (Gerd) is a bone of contention with Sudan and Egypt, both dependent on the Nile for their water resources since the project was launched in 2011.

Discussions initiated under the aegis of the African Union (AU) have not allowed the three countries to reach a tripartite agreement on the filling of the dam and the modalities of operation of water reservoirs.

Cairo and Khartoum had asked Addis Ababa to suspend the filling of the dam pending an agreement.

The UN Security Council took up the matter on July 8 to negotiate an agreement, but Ethiopia diplomatically pushed back, saying it was “regrettable that the progress of the negotiations has been stalled and politicized.

In July 2020, Ethiopia announced that it had met its target of storing 4.9 billion cubic meters of water and planned the second phase of 13.5 billion cubic meters.

There is now enough water to put into operation the first two turbines of the dam, the Ethiopian official said without giving a precise date for the beginning of electricity production.

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