The Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew has announced that his country intends to start filling the lake of the Renaissance Dam, despite the failure to reach an agreement with Egypt and Sudan.
“We will start filling the lake of the dam in the upcoming months, even without an agreement between the three countries: Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan,” disclosed the minister.
Nevertheless, Andargachew expressed his country’s hope to reach an agreement with Egypt and Sudan, adding that Egypt’s “insistence” on controlling the flow of water is difficult, noting: “We will not allow this with our water source.”
The Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile at a cost of $4.6 billion, has caused a dispute with Egypt for years. Through the dam, Addis Ababa intends to generate the electric power it desperately needs for economic development, but Cairo fears that the dam will lead to a reduction of its share of the Nile water.
The Nile covers about 90 per cent of Egypt’s water needs, and Sudan currently considers that it will achieve some benefits from the Renaissance Dam.
Despite many attempts as well as support from the US, the three countries have so far been unable to reach an agreement. Last week, Egypt referred the Renaissance Dam crisis to the UN Security Council.