Ethiopia deserves payment for ecosystem services in the Nile Basin: Hydrologist

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia deserves and should claim payment for ecosystem services from other Nile riparian countries, said Girmachew Addisu Hydrologist and Former Irrigation and Drainage Monitoring Specialist at Abbay Basin Authority.

The hydrologist told The Ethiopian Herald that in any case, upper riparian countries deserve payment for ecosystem services from downstream countries for the water development activities they undertake in the basin.

This is because the conservation activities along the basin in terms of sustainable water and underground water supply among others will benefit downstream countries, Girmachew said.

“In addition, conservation and water development activities upstream will support fishery and reduce siltation downstream,” he added.

“That is why I say Ethiopia deserves payment for ecosystem services. Presently, the idea works in many countries and basins,” he said. “Accordingly, upper riparian countries develop the water and undertake conservation activities and receive reasonable ecosystem services payment. Limpopo in Southern Africa and Mekong river basin in Asia are some of the basins that are applying ecosystem services payment,” the hydrologist added.

Hence, Ethiopia should set this as an agenda while negotiating the Nile issues, as to him.

It is unfair that while Egypt has been developing using the Nile waters, it is not ready to accept Ethiopia’s right to develop using its own resources and reach a win-win solution on the issue. “The Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will regulate the flow of water to Egypt besides preventing siltation in Egypt’s dams,” he said.

Being this the fact, Egypt’s intention is not about water but has to do with hindering Ethiopia’s development and preventing the latter from becoming a major supplier of power in the region.

Hence, Ethiopia has to be prepared to set its own agendas during GERD negotiations.

Concerning observers he said, the role of negotiators must be limited and should not interfere in the process. If the negotiating parties need technical assistance, they should first reach an agreement on the issue, Girmachew said.

The Ethiopian Herald June 25, 2020

BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW

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