Today, Ethiopia began to divert the flow of the Blue Nile in order to construct the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region near the borders of Sudan. On its own, the dam will cost $4.7 billion other than the $12 billion required to harness the rivers’ flow through the rugged land of Ethiopia. So far, 21% of the dam is completed. Alright so what are the benefits and effects of this decision? Ethiopian chief executive officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation stated that the purpose of the dam is to diver the river by several meters then allowing to flowregularly. Most of the Nile Basin countries demand the dissolution of the Egyptian veto power and decrease the amount of water reaching Egypt and Sudan by thirty percent. They believe this theory because Britain was the one who established that policy during the period of time when they conquered Egypt. Moreover, the once established British policy should be disregarded in their perspective. The Great Renaissance Dam is constructed to become Africa’s leading source of power with a 6,000 megawatt capacity which is the equivalent to six nuclear power plants. Ethiopian officials believe that the dam will allow Ethiopia to flourish yet not affect Egypt and Sudan. However, that is not what is predicted by Egyptian officials. Egyptian Minister of Irrigation stated, “Crises in the distribution and management of water faced in Egypt these days and the complaints of farmers from a lack of water confirms that we cannot let go of a single drop of water from the quantity that comes to us from the Upper Nile.” Experts estimate that within the next 6 years, the Ethiopian dam will have saved about 77 billion cubic meters of water. This extremely large amount of water will definitely leave a massive impact on Egypt and Sudan. First off, as the Egyptian population increases, it is approximated that by 2050, Egypt will be in need of an additional 21 billion cubic meters of water to reach the bare minimum of requirements for a population of 150 million. The Egyptian government had failed to negotiate terms with the Ethiopian government even at such a late state when about a quarter of the dam has already been built. Additionally, Egypt already loses ten percent of its share of water annually due to outdated and impoverished irrigation systems. It is interesting how the government appears to be taking action but really is not. This is seen in their efforts put into Farouk El-Baz’s project. The remarkable scientist who worked in NASA developed a plan to urbanize Egypt by digging out canals from the Nile River to create a manmade river parallel to the Nile. Such project would increase agricultural outputs, restore deserted farmlands, develop more cities, and improve the financial state of the country. Their ignorance and lack of concern to such a brilliant idea further proves their failure cultivate and elevate Egyptian civilization.
By: Rayan El Sharkawy