THURSDAY JULY 16 2020
By MAWAHIB ABDALLATIF
Addis Ababa has refuted claims it has begun filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), just days after talks with Sudan and Egypt failed to reach agreement on how to regulate the flow of the Nile waters from the reservoir.
In a statement on Thursday, Addis Ababa said the amount of water flowing downstream, to Sudan and Egypt, had predictably reduced after the dam structure was raised, absorbing more of the incoming water.
The Ethiopian Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Dr Seleshi Bekele, the said his country had not blocked the flow of water as earlier claimed.
“The GERD construction has reached level 560m compared to level 525m last year this time. The inflow into the reservoir due to heavy rainfall and runoff exceeded the outflow and created natural pooling. This continues until overflow is triggered soon,” Dr Seleshi said.
“The dam is yet to be constructed to level 640m in the following years. In fact, predicted heavy rain this year is expected to cause huge flooding in the region.”