disadvantages of the grand ethiopian renaissance dam

What could have been strictly technical negotiations have turned into a political deadlock. Recently, however, Sudan has been more cautious with the project, citing concerns that the GERDs operation and safety could jeopardise its own dams (The New Arab, 2020b). An Ethiopian national flag is seen at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba, Ethiopia, on February 19, 2022. In addition, no independent, multilateral Environmental and Social Impact Assessments has been carried out suggesting that Ethiopia is reneging from the 2015 Declaration of Principles (Kandeel, 2020). Egypt's 100 million people rely on the Nile for 90% of the country's water needs. An unsubscribe function is also at the bottom of every newsletter. If it is allowed to reach dangerous levels, water scarcity has the potential to trigger conflicts. It concludes that Ethiopias legal position is far stronger and that a negotiated agreement in its favour is the most likely outcome of the dispute. The piece (i) gives a brief history of the Dam; (ii) outlines the role of the Watercourses Convention; (iii) explains the significance of the Nile Waters Treaties; (iv) sets out the main legal arguments for Egypt and (v) provides the main legal arguments for Ethiopia. The dispute resolution committee could be made up of the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM), which includes the ministers in charge of water affairs in all member states of the Nile River Basin. AFRICANGLOBE. Von Lossow, T. & Roll, S. (2015). (2014). The countrys 2003 development plan introduced many more, and the Ethiopian government launched an ambitious PR campaign to encourage donor nations and international funding agencies to support these projects financially and ideologically as the highway to Ethiopian development and prosperity. The Gerd is expected to generate over 5,000 megawatts of electricity, doubling the nation's . More alarmingly, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak allegedly even considered bombing the Dam. The IPoE report recommended two studies to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of GERD and was interpreted by both the Egyptian and the Ethiopian government as a vindication of their respective positions. Over the years, Egypt has used its extensive diplomatic connections and the colonial-era 1929 and 1959 agreements to successfully prevent the construction of any major infrastructure projects on the tributaries of the Nile. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) constitutes a real crisis for the Egyptian regime, where Ethiopia several times blamed Egypt for the failure of negotiations conducted between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on the dam. Across Ethiopia, poor farmers and rich business executives alike . In June 2020, tensions escalated when Ethiopia declared its intent to fill the dam in July without an agreement, which again led to Egypt and Sudan requesting UNSC intervention on the matter (Kandeel, 2020). The $4 billion hydroelectric dam . Both citizens and governments should be made part of the solution to the water-related conflicts that now threaten peace and security in the Nile Basin. To African commentators in recent decades, massive investments in mega-energy and irrigation projects were emblematic of the African economic emergence, and Ethiopia at that time vaunted itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. Challenges for water sharing in the Nile basin: changing geo-politics and changing climate. The 1902 Treaty did not preclude Ethiopia from undertaking works that might reduce, but not arrest, the flow of waters. As a consequence, Ethiopia has not been able to make significant use of the rivers waters. Churning waters: Strategic shifts in the Nile basin. What Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia must overcome to all benefit from the Grand Renaissance Dam. Disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), hailed by both Egypt and Ethiopia as a new chapter in relations between Egypt and Ethiopia based on openness and mutual understanding and cooperation (. Given these considerations, it seems that Ethiopia has all but won the dispute. This is good news for Egypt and Sudan as hydropower means little actual water withdrawal. As a result, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has recognised water security as a possible threat to international peace. In general, the Ethiopian development philosophy rests on two pillars: mega-dams and mega-agricultural projects. The researchers looked at the dynamic interactions between the Nile's hydrology and infrastructure and Egypt's economy. Such a meaningful resource-sharing agreement should not only resolve the conflict over water-use rights among the riparian states, but it should help define concepts such as equitable and reasonable use and significant harm, which have been used by the downstream states in their criticisms of the GERD. The crucial leverage regarding Egypts water security lies with the Blue Nile countries Ethiopia and Sudan, as the Blue Nile is the main contributor to the Nile Rivers flow downstream. Some have mythified it and claim it is the Gihon River of the Biblical Book of Genesis that encircles the entire land of Cush, thereby adding a religious dimension to the politicisation. Article IV of the DoP provides that the parties shall utilize their shared water resources in their respective territories in an equitable and reasonable manner and Article III provides that the parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm in utilizing the Blue/Main Nile. Ethiopia can make a strong case that the operation of the Dam complies with each principle. The withdrawal from the project by Deltares has been met by a wave of objections in Egypt for fear . In that light, Egypt should minimize trips to Washington, D.C., New York, and Brussels, and instead use its diplomatic resources to improve its relations with the other riparian states. Egypt has issued a public statement to that effect. [35] Why the Nile could see a 'water war'. This crisis has raised great concerns among large sectors of the Egyptian society, especially in light of recalling such statements as "water war," "water militarization," "military management of the GERD crisis," "water terrorism," and "Ethiopian hydro-hegemony over the Nile Basin" [ 1, 2 ]. Moreover, it arguably prohibits any reduction of flow to Egypt by limiting Ethiopias use of the Dam to electricity generation alone. This includes Sudan, another downstream nation that one might assume would oppose its construction. Ultimately, however, Egypt did not sign the CFA (nor did Sudan) hence it does not resolve the dispute. Ethiopia, whose highlands supply more than 85 percent of the water that flows into the Nile River, has long argued that it has the right to utilize its natural resources to address widespread poverty and improve the living standards of its people. Second, regarding the 1902 Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty, although Ethiopia was a party and although that instrument does deal with the flow of water on the Nile, its terms are strictly limited. The situation seemed to improve in the beginning of 2015 when tripartite negotiations were held in order to determine principles of cooperation. The Zenawi concept of a Strong Ethiopia envisions the country as a powerful hydroelectric energy hub exporting electricity to Djibouti and Somalia in the east, Kenya and Uganda to the south, and Sudan to the west. Stratfor Worldview. While this means new opportunities to develop extended irrigation-based agriculture for the Sudanese, it represents also a new threat for Egypts current Nile water utilisation (Whittington et al., 2014). July 26, 2022. Although Egypt and Sudan are likely to resist efforts to include the other upstream riparians in the negotiations or to allow a regional organization, such as the NBI, to serve as an implementing organ, they must understand that the Nile River is a regional watercourse and its management must be approached from a regional perspective. The 6,000-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, shown here in May 2016, is scheduled to begin producing electricity in 2017. Egypt has also escalated its call to the international community to get involved. Sudan, caught between the competing interests of both Egypt and Ethiopia, has been changing its stance on the issue. "I came to Cairo on my first official trip to the region to hear . Given the fact that the conflict between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan over the GERD seems to be among the most pressing issues in the region, it might be advisable for emphasis to be placed on securing a trilateral agreement that secures the peace between these three countries first. In my opinion, this should be negotiable, to fill the lake over a longer period, and only when the river is sufficiently full. A regional framework for the management of the Nile already existsthe Nile Basin Initiative mentioned abovewhich is a partnership among the Nile riparian states that was launched in 1999. Such an understanding and appreciation of Egypts water vulnerability would help the riparians develop a water management protocol that can significantly enhance equitable and reasonable use while minimizing significant harm to downstream riparians. In terms of putative new law, namely the Watercourses Convention and the DoP, the key principles of equitable utilisation and no significant harm seem to leave ample room to accommodate the construction of a dam for hydroelectric generation purposes. Because the strategy of land allocation and dam construction relied on senior executive decisions and foreign funding from China, above all, the government was largely freed of pressures of transparency and accountability. Ethiopias strategy for dam construction goes far beyond developmental goals. The dispute escalated in 2011 when Ethiopia began construction of a major new dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in the absence of any agreement with downstream Egypt. The Chinese donors who have agreed to fund it have performed no independent social or environmental impact reviews. Gebreluel, G. (2014). It seeks to build an infrastructure for regional water hegemony, positioning it, at the very least, in such a way that it can exchange water for oil. The Danger of Multi-Party Democracy and Free Elections in Plural Societies Recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a Legitimate Player in Egyptian Politics was a Big Mistake Ethiopian Partnering with ASKY to Establish West African Cargo Hub Ethiopia and China's ZTE singed $800 million mobile deal H and M to build factories in Ethiopia 2. Addis Ababa has said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a $4bn hydropower project, is crucial to its economic development and to provide power. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam located in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia, about 45 km east of the border with Sudan. It states in Principle III that the parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm. In contrast, other watercourse states on the Nile have lent their support to the Dam. The disadvantages for Egypt and Sudan are the possibility of reduced river flow, although this is only really a problem during the years of filling the dam. (2011). It's very unpredictable and it can be very dangerous," says Pottinger. At this point, though, the GERD is nearly completed, and so Egypt has shifted its position to trying to secure a political agreement over the timetable for filling the GERDs reservoir and how the GERD will be managed, particularly during droughts. Whittington, D. et al. The New Arab (2020b). Indeed, Sudan had initially opposed the Dam but changed its position in 2012 after consultations with Ethiopia. We shall begin with the former. Filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) along the Blue Nile River is well under way near the Ethiopia-Sudan border. For more on the background and history of these important relationships, see my book with former AGI Director Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Governing the Nile River Basin: The Search for a New Legal Regime., not be filled without a legally binding agreement, when the flow of Nile water to the dam falls below 35-40 b.c.m. Four of these would potentially be located on the main river and one would eventually evolve into the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). L'Europe en Formation, 365(3), 99-138. . Such a mitigation program can make it much easier for Egyptian and Sudanese authorities to cooperate with Ethiopia and the other riparians in creating and adopting an agreement for management of the Nile. As stipulated by an Agreement of 1959 (see:Nile Main Conflict), Egypt and Sudan presented for several decades a common position vis--vis other riparians regarding the utilisation and management of Nile waters. The so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) is Africa's biggest hydroelectric project to date. Still, if the exception was somehow activated, it would mean that Egypt remains entitled to 66% of the Nile River waters and that this figure should be used as the baseline for any future negotiations. This is an intergovernmental partnership to provide a forum for consultation and coordination for the sustainable management and development of shared water. (2017). Today, however, Ethiopia is building the Grand Renaissance Dam and, with it, Ethiopia will physically control the Blue Nile Gorgethe primary source of most of the Nile waters. There are three key articles. Zegabi East Africa News (2015). Perhaps the most significant project in the 2003 plan was the Chemoga-Yeda Hydroelectric Project, a series of five small dams on Blue Nile tributaries and two dams on the Genale River with a couple more envisioned for a later phase. - Ethiopia's massive. The CFA was a political success for the eight upstream states such as Ethiopia as it favoured those states and isolated the downstream states of Egypt and Sudan and made them appear recalcitrant. 17th round of GERD tripartite talks hits wall in Cairo. Attia, H. & Saleh, M. (2021). Ethiopias dam-construction strategy threatens not only Kenyas water-resource development efforts but also Somalias water security, as is evidenced by Ethiopias development plans for the Jubba and Shebelle Rivers. A significant segment of local opinion is also aware of the well-known problems that come with mega-dams wherever they are built, among them population displacements and resettlement, reductions in the quality of life, the spread of waterborne diseases, salinisation and the loss of productive and profitable lands, more intense competition over the remaining available land, and losses of cultural and historic heritage. Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law 2017. Governing the Nile River Basin: The Search for a New Legal Regime. Despite several tripartite meetings between November 2013 and January 2014, no agreement was reached on the implementation of the IPoE recommendations and controversies were evolving around the constitution of a trilateral committee. However, as a result of the ability and willingness of Ethiopians at home and abroad to invest in the dam project, the government was able to raise a significant portion of the money needed to start the construction of the GERD. At stake, too, is . If the relevant parties can agree to these goals, the agreement, in the end, will need to include technical language that ensures equitable sharing of the Nile. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have negative impacts not only on Egypt but also on poor communities in Ethiopia as well as on its Nile Basin neighbours. Another difficulty for Egypt is that making this argument (i.e. On Feb. 26, Ethiopia temporarily suspended its . According to Baradei, hydropower dams create immense turbulence in the water, where chemical reactions such as dissolved oxygen can destroy fauna and flora. It was in the hope of protecting Lake Turkana against such threats that it was listed as a World Heritage Site. The filling time is estimated to take about 10 years, during which the Blue Nile water flows would be reduced. Match. What are the disadvantages of the Aswan Dam? When it is completed, with its concrete volume of 10.2 million m3, GERD will feature the largest dam in Africa. The current filling which is ongoing since early July 2021 has presented no issues as well. For a decade, Egypt and Ethiopia have been at a diplomatic stalemate over the Nile's management. Another important area of cooperation is research, especially in areas like climate change, the fight against terrorism and extremism, and human rights. Even in 2023, there are only 46 state parties, with key actors such as the US, Canada and Brazil remaining outside the Conventions regime. Created by. International rights organisations have reported that many cases of displacement were not voluntary and that entire communities were driven from their villages. Tawfik, Rawia Discussion Paper 5/2015 . The Ethiopian government is spending $4.7 billion to construct the 1,780-meter dam across the Blue Nile. Therefore, all the water is eventually released downstream with the effect that there is no net loss of water to downstream states. The Dam is used to generate electricity and went into partial operation in 2022. Turning then to Ethiopia. Trilateral talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to finalise an agreement on a cooperation framework for the GERD have been mediated by the African Union, World Bank and United States. "Today as you see behind me . This dam, set to be the largest in Africa in terms of power capacity, continues to cause disagreement between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on filling and operation strategies. In 2019, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee warned that the Gibe III Dam had already disrupted the seasonal patterns of Lake Turkana and that this would reduce fish life and harm local communities dependent on the Lake. Maguid, M.A. Article 5 requires that watercourse states utilise an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner and creates the duty to cooperate in the protection and development of the watercourse. Construction on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam began in 2011 and it is currently nearing completion. Egypts original goal was to have the project purely and simply cancelled. 2011. how much does the reservoir contain? 1800m long and 170m high. Match facts: Egypts Ahly v South Africas Mamelodi Sundowns (CAF Champions.. 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