The filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)’s reservoir will lead to a “prolonged drought in Egypt”, Cairo’s irrigation minister warned yesterday.
“Egypt relies on the Nile River for 95 per cent of its freshwater,” Mohamed Abdel Atti told MBC, stressing that his country was “mostly concerned about dealing with drought, prolonged drought and dry years.”
Abdel Atti added that his country had offered a number of technical solutions that would enable Ethiopia to “produce 80 per cent of the dam’s total power capacity in the most severe cases of drought.”
Egypt last week called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene to urge Ethiopia to conclude a fair agreement on the dam and refrain from taking unilateral action by filling its reservoir, after the latest round of talks failed to reach a deal.
Ethiopia has said it will begin filling the reservoir when the rainy season begins in July “with or without an agreement”.
The dam is the centrepiece in Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, but has sparked concerns in Cairo that Egypt’s already scarce supplies of Nile waters, on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent, would be further restricted.