Despite the opposition of my downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia has completed the third phase of filling the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, as announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Neither Cairo nor Khartoum have yet commented on the announcement.
“What you see behind me is the complete third filling,” Abiy said in a televised address from the site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the country’s northwest, the largest in Africa.
And the tank’s water level has reached 600 meters, which is 25 meters higher than at the end of the second phase of filling in the same period last year, Abyei said.
In an indirect response to criticism of Egypt and Sudan, the Ethiopian prime minister said, “The Nile is a gift from God, so Ethiopians will benefit from it,” criticizing those who “don’t shoulder the responsibilities agreed upon.”
But he reiterated that Ethiopia does not want to monopolize the waters of the Nile and will be careful not to harm the country downstream.
For his part, Abiy insisted, “The Nile River is a gift, given freely to three countries, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. This country benefits from the free use of its water,” adding, “Any country should not use it, as it is against the laws of nature.”
“When we started damming the Nile, we did not want to capture the river but to use our rightful advantages,” he said in a tweet.
And he added, “We believe that Egypt and Sudan and Ethiopia will benefit from the river, each in their own way, and we have promised to do no harm to anyone.”
“Overall, the project is 83.3% complete,” said project manager Kevel Horo, adding, “Civil engineering works are 95% complete.”
“The target is to complete the dam in the next two-and-a-half years, fill each phase and install the remaining turbines,” he explained.
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