Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Egypt, Ethiopia settle dispute over Nile dam study


The study will aim to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the $4.8-billion project, a sizeable portion of which has already been completed
World Bulletin / News Desk

 An Ethiopian Water and Energy Ministry official revealed Monday that his country had resolved its differences with Egypt over a study commissioned to assess the likely impact of a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam now being built by Ethiopia on the Nile River.

Accordingly, a three-party committee on the dam – made up of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan – will soon resume discussions, Bizuneh Tolcha, head of public relations at the ministry, told The Anadolu Agency.

The project, dubbed the "Grand Renaissance Dam," has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt for several months.


Water-poor Egypt says the project will negatively affect its share of water from the Nile – its only source of water – while Ethiopia says the project is indispensible for its own national development and the economic welfare of its growing population.

Tolcha said that, now that the dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt over the project study had been resolved, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan would select a consultancy firm to conduct the survey.

The study will aim to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the $4.8-billion project, a sizeable portion of which has already been completed.

The committee, known as the Tripartite National Committee, consists of four experts from each of the three countries.

It should have convened for the third time in Sudanese capital Khartoum between December 4 and 6, but the meeting was called off due to differences between Ethiopia and Egypt over the schedule of the studies.

Egypt says the studies should not take more than five or six months, but Ethiopia – which is actively working on the project – says the studies could take as long as 18 months to complete.

Tolcha declined to provide further details about the nature of the agreement reached between Egypt and Ethiopia on the timeframe of the dam studies.

The tripartite committee held a series of meetings in the Ethiopian capital between August and September.

A meeting was also held in Cairo, during which the three states agreed on a shortlist of seven international firms to conduct the studies.   
The study will aim to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the $4.8-billion project, a sizeable portion of which has already been completed
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