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Ethiopia completes filling of its Grand Renaissance Dam, heightening concerns for Egypt and Sudan

Ethiopia has concluded the fourth and final filling of its controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) constructed on the Blue Nile, as announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the successful completion of the fourth and final filling of the Renaissance Dam. Ethiopians have helped us by working together. Congratulations to all who participated in the work with their money, knowledge, energy and prayers. This cooperation should be repeated in our other affairs as well,” he stated in a tweet.

We had many challenges. There was too much pulling for us to turn back. We had an internal challenge with external pressure. We have endured all that came with the Creator and come to this. But we reached the top of the hill, not the end of the hill. I believe that we will complete what we have planned in the next period and thank the Creator. I would like to take this opportunity to pledge that we will continue to support the dam until the end,” he concluded

The minister had earlier announced in August that the country had completed the third filling of the mega-dam reservoir on the Blue Nile.

The massive $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been at the centre of a regional dispute since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011.

Egypt and, on certain occasions, Sudan have consistently urged Addis Ababa to halt the reservoir’s filling.

Both nations regard it as a threat due to their reliance on Nile waters, while Ethiopia deems it essential for its electrification and development.

For centuries, Egypt has been known as the “gift of the Nile,” relying on the river for 90% of its sustenance and survival.

The country is facing an annual water deficit and is estimated to be categorized as water-scarce by 2025, according to the United Nations.

This summer, the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reached an agreement to continue discussions aimed at finalizing the agreement regarding the filling and operation of the $5 billion dam.

The first official negotiations involving Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan on the hydropower project in over a year concluded without a breakthrough last month. Ethiopia has indicated that further talks are scheduled to take place in its capital, Addis Ababa, in September.

Source: Business Insider

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