Ethiopia announced on Monday that it has achieved its second year goal of filling a mega-dam on the Blue Nile that has fueled tensions with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.
Water Minister Seleshi Bekele later confirmed the milestone that officials had previously predicted for August.
In a post on Twitter, he led the accelerated schedule to “extreme rains” in the Blue Nile -Bank back.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been at the center of a regional dispute since the groundbreaking for the 2011 project in Ethiopia.
Egypt and Sudan see the dam because of their Dependence as a threat to the Waters of the Nile, while Ethiopia considers it essential for its electrification and development.
Talks held under the auspices of the African Union (AU) have failed to reach a three-way agreement on filling and spices to achieve the operation of the dam, and Cairo and Khartoum have asked Addis Ababa to stop filling the huge reservoir until such an agreement is reached can be stopped.
The UN Security Council met earlier this month to discuss the project, although Ethiopia later called the meeting an “unhelpful” distraction from the AU-led Process criticized.
Egypt claims a historic right to the Nile from a 1929 treaty that gave him a veto right on construction projects along the river.
A 1959 treaty increased Egypt s allocation to about 66 percent of the river, with 22 percent for Sudan.
However, Ethiopia was not a party to these treaties and does not see them as valid.
In 2010 the countries signed of the Nile Basin with the exception of Egypt and Sudan another agreement, the Cooperative Framework Agreement, which enables projects on the river without the consent of Cairo.
The main tributaries of the Nile, the Blue Nile and the White Nile, flow into Khartoum together before flowing north through Egypt and into the Mediterranean.
The process of filling the GERD reservoir began last year. Ethiopia announced in July 2020 that it had reached its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters.
The target for this year’s rainy season – which was announced before the first cycle was completed – 13.5 billion Add cubic meters. The reservoir has a capacity of 74 billion.
With the achievement of the second annual target, the dam will be able to operate the first two of its 13 turbines, Seleshi said on Twitter on Monday.
“Intensive efforts will be made so that the two turbines generate energy, “said Seleshi, adding that an” early generation “could be realized” in the next few months “.
The The 4.2 billion dollar dam will ultimately produce more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, making it the largest hydropower plant in Africa and more than doubling Ethiopia’s electricity production.
Ethiopia originally planned an output of around 6,500 megawatts , but later achieved its target reduced.
The first two turbines are to generate 750 megawatts of electricity and increase national output by about 20 percent, said Addisu Lashitew of the Brookings Institution in Washington.
It is “a substantial amount” for an economy Often faced with electricity shortages and sometimes hampered by electricity rationing, he said the milestone would also have “political implications” for a country that is going through “a very difficult time”, not least because of the eight month old war in its northern region of Tigray Addisu.
“The dam is a national symbol, a unifying symbol. It’s one of the few things that brings people from all walks of life together in Ethiopia, “he said.
” In any case, the government will try to get some political value out of the second fill. “