Africa, Environment

3rd filling of Ethiopia’s Nile dam reservoir completed

Since inception, GERD has been a point of controversy between Egypt and Ethiopia

Addis Getachew  | 12.08.2022 - Update : 12.08.2022
3rd filling of Ethiopia’s Nile dam reservoir completed


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday announced the completion of the third filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Ethiopia has been constructing the GERD on the main tributary of the Nile since 2011.

The announcement of the filling came a day after Abiy, switched on the second turbine of the hydroelectric scheme, which is the largest in Africa to date.

“Constructing the dam, we have no intention of harming downstream countries,” he said, adding the dam would entail a lot of benefits rather, one of which is regulation of the flow of the river Nile and hence prevention of floods."

Since its inception, the mega project has been a point of controversy between Egypt and Ethiopia, with Cairo expressing concern that its "historical share" of the Nile's waters would be reduced, while Ethiopia says the project is necessary for its national development.

Standing 145 meters (over 475 feet) tall and 1,800 meters long, it is capable of holding 70 billion cubic meters (more than 2.4 trillion cubic feet) of water in its reservoir.

Meanwhile, trilateral talks on the dam between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt remain stalled.

Egypt and Sudan, both downstream nations, have demanded Ethiopia sign a "binding and comprehensive" agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, a demand resisted by Addis Ababa. Cairo views the structure as an existential threat to its share of Nile water, its only source of freshwater.

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