Ethiopia is pressing ahead with construction of a major new dam on the River Nile, despite stiff opposition from Egypt. BBC correspondents in both countries report from both sides of an increasingly bitter water dispute.
Emmanuel Igunza, Ethiopia
(BBC) A vast section of northern Ethiopia has been turned into a giant building site.
Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.
The whole project spans an area of 1,800 sq km (695 sq miles).
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Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa’s largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall.
At a cost of $4.7bn (£2.9bn) it will also be hugely expensive – mostly funded by Ethiopian bonds and taxpayers.
The dam is located in the Benishangul region, a vast, arid land on the border with Sudan, some 900km north-west of the capital Addis Ababa,
Temperatures here can get as high as 48C (118F). Most of the vegetation that existed on the dam site has been cleared to make way for the construction, and the area is now extremely dusty.
In May last year, the builders achieved their first milestone when they diverted the course of the Blue Nile.
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