Ethiopia and the downstream nations have been at loggerhead since the inception of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Notwithstanding the fact that Ethiopia have endeavored time and time again to familiarize the Sudan and Egypt that the project does not cause any significant harm to them. The downstream countries however have been persistently turning a deaf ear to the naked truth and moving the situation into uncharted territory.
In a similar vein, even though Ethiopia is constructing a hydroelectric dam, not a huge large scale farm irrigation project that may cause significant harm to Egypt and Sudan, downstream countries particularly Egypt have been coming up with a range of cooked up stories. The aim has mainly been to win the hearts and minds of the international community and tarnish the project, stop its construction and maintain monopoly over the Nile River.
The downstream nations move heaven and earth with a view to distracting the construction of the GERD and become victorious over the Nile River dispute. More often than not, they have been making an effort to politicize and internalize Nile issue bringing into play a wide spectrum of disinformation and cooked up stories.
Despite the naïve approaches Egypt and Sudan follow to delay the construction of the dam and prevent any possible upshot from the tripartite talks, Ethiopia has been genuine enough and willing to consult with the downstream countries by providing transparent and factual arguments. In fact many argue that, Ethiopia sets a good example for the rest of the world in terms of consulting with downstream countries to reach common consensus over sovereign project, the downstream countries fail to reciprocate though. Sudan and Egypt are rather flip-flopping in their stances regarding the dam particularly the second filling of the dam.
If Egyptians give up their wrong narratives in relation to the Nile Basin politics, the situation of the two nations and the Nile Basin would come to an end at the earliest possible time,” said Professor Yacob Arsano, political science and International Relations instructor at Addis Ababa University and a researcher in Nile issues speaking to The Ethiopian Press Agency
He stressed that back in the day the whole thing that was being narrated by the government of Egypt was entirely far from the truth. It does not reflect the existing reality on the ground. The officials were familiarizing their people with cooked up stories that entirely deviate from the existing reality on the ground.
He went on to say, “Egypt’s Foreign Minister while addressing the House of People Representatives said that the second phase filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would not cause any significant harm. From the aforementioned truth one can easily understand the fact that the government of Egypt has been misleading its people with wrong narratives over and over again,”
If they do not change their current stance, tensions that have been taking root between the two nations and the Nile Basin would be de-escalated without a shred of a doubt. Through the passage of time, the real stance of Egypt would be manifested.
“It is to be recalled that Egyptian government officials were persistently saying that if Ethiopia would embark on filling the second phase of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam, their people would die of thirst and fall in deep water. They were perplexing the internal community and their people with cooked up stories,” he continued.
“Egypt’s narrative of the past was in a bid to do smear campaign rather than attaching importance to the truth. But what the foreign minister of Egypt said to the parliament in black and white signals the fact that their country is getting back to track,” the professor wrapped up.
Dr. Gedion Assfaw, who is chairperson of Ethiopia’s international panel of experts, said for his part that Egypt’s Foreign Minister mentioned regarding the GERD signals the fact that Egypt is approaching the truth. The impact that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam can bring about between the two nations vary. Nowadays, Egyptian officials are coming up with conflicting ideas.
A case in point, in the present climate, they are going to various African nations and telling them that if Ethiopia jumpstart filling the second phase of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, their country would be significantly harmed. Furthermore, they have been reflecting their stance by saying unless Ethiopia signs a binding agreement; it does not have to begin filling the dam. This entirely contradicts with what the foreign minister said. They change their stance every week, fortnight and month.
They every so often come up with variable ideas. We need to know what is going on behind closed curtains for the most part disinformation disseminated by downstream countries and officials. It is to be remembered that Egypt’s foreign minister said, “The second filling of the GERD would not cause any significant harm. They have also familiarized the international community with the aforementioned reality on the ground.
The first filling of the GERD was carried out based on the set plan. The second phase of the filling also will be carried out based on the set target. It is being discharged based on the set target. The dam comprises of a wide variety of sections such as civil works, electro mechanical works, metal works, employees camp, desert clearing works, road construction, and things of that sort.
In a recently published newspaper of The Ethiopian Herald Tilahun Erduno, a member of the Committee for Planning and Construction of GERD model Addis Ababa Park at the office of National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the GERD said Egypt has never attempted to solve its problem related to Nile peacefully with Ethiopia or any other upper basin countries. Rather it strived to fulfill its interest destabilizing Ethiopia.
Since ancient times the issues of Nile and Ethiopia have been means of solutions to the problems of internal politics in Egypt. The same way today’s government of Egypt is politicizing Nile issue and attempting to cover the face of its people by instigating “water war” against Ethiopia.
Egypt strived to invade Ethiopia for considerable number of times. Fought so many unjust wars directly and indirectly, destabilized its peace, organized and supported anti-Ethiopian guerrilla fighters and radical religious extremist groups. Worked hard to destroy the unique classic harmony between Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia. The fact behind all its immoral actions is because it believes that peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia as its external threat. Which is completely untrue. Therefore, the position of Egyptian government and its allies in relation to GERD is illegal, immoral, so biased & inhumane why for Ethiopia never accepts.
While continuing to be open for discussion, there are also other issues which Ethiopia does not bargain over. The second filing of the Dam according to schedule is the major one and the construction of the dam is going in the right direction with electric generation set to commence this year in August.
In an interview the Ethiopian Electric Corporation’s CEO, Ashebir Balcha told to local media said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will start generating 750 MW out of the two completed unites by August 2021.
He elucidated that the first phase of energy generation produces more than that of Tekeze and Gilgel Gibe combined which have the capacity of generating 300 MW and 420 respectively.
The two units are planned to generate 400 GW/H having the capacity to provide about 4 million populations with energy facility.
GERD National Public Participation and Coordination Office also remarked that the project is well underway as the two water tunnels have been completed and started operating last week.
The civil work of the project has been completed 91 percent whereas the metal works 53.7 percent with an overall progress of 79 percent, as to the office.
The reservoirs accumulated 4.9 billion cubic meter of the water by the first round filling carried out in July 2020.
The Ethiopian Herald April 28/2021
BY ADDISALEM MULAT