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Egypt points to flaws in Renaissance Dam, reveals upcoming measures

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Workers at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia on 26 December 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Images]

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Ati has announced that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam's efficiency does not exceed 30 per cent and that Ethiopia has spent more than necessary.

Abdel Ati elaborated by explaining: "Four turbines in the dam, out of 16, are not needed due to its inability to produce electricity. Ethiopia has built five dams, and Egypt agreed to it, and there is more than one dam that was built on the Blue Nile, and Egypt did not object."

In his interview with Al-Watan newspaper, he stated: "Filling the Renaissance Dam in the middle of last year with five billion cubic metres was nothing but a media show, and if it were delayed for a month, then it would not have affected Sudan, but rather mitigated the damage that occurred, as the filling activity has harmed Sudan twice."

The Egyptian minister pointed out: "The Sudanese were left with many concerns after what happened last year when Ethiopia started filling the dam without notifying Sudan, which led to emptying its dams amid the drought season. This resulted in a crisis in Sudan, as drinking water was shut off in Khartoum and many problems occurred, including the thickening of riverbed sediments."

In the following month, massive torrents swept Sudan, accompanied by floods. Had there been coordination between the two countries, the situation would have had a different outcome, especially since the filling of the dam last year did not benefit Ethiopia, as it had a political purpose with no technical goal.

Abdel Ati affirmed Egypt's keenness to reach an agreement on the Ethiopian dam, affirming: "Everyone has the right to worry, but healthy concerns must be coupled with hard work, as diligence should not be only on the part of the ministry of irrigation, but the state is also working on this file."

READ: Sudan owns land where Ethiopia built dam, claims ex-negotiator

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