Filling of Grand Renaissance Dam Due to Early Rainfall

News Flash

  • Reports that Ethiopia has begun the second and much larger filling of the Grand Renaissance Dam are reportedly not correct.
  • The latest filling is not significant and is based on a recent rainfall-related technicality that left Addis Ababa no choice but to hold back water behind the giant structure. 
  • It does not mean that the second filling will not take place. Read more

Ethiopia has denied reports that a second filling began earlier this month. Egypt and Sudan, which both say the USD 5 billion dam will significantly reduce its vital share of the Nile’s water, have not reacted either.

The reports may have been inspired by the storage of an “insignificant” amount of water behind the dam earlier this month due to heavier than usual rainfall, said Hany Raslan, a senior Africa expert at Egypt’s Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies who closely monitors the dam. “We may be talking about 100-200 million cubic metres of water,” he said.

Egypt and fellow downstream nation Sudan have repeatedly warned Ethiopia against making good on its threat to go ahead with the second filling without first reaching an agreement with them on the dam’s operation and running. The two countries have announced that they will hold joint war games amid dispute over Nile dam project.

Tensions rose last year in July when the first filling took place although it did not have any effect downstream due to unprecedented rainfall. Read more

Related news: Plans for a dam across the Nile triggered war in 1956

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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