Satellite images show Ethiopia started filling the GERD

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia indirectly confirmed when he said “the dam is built to be filled.” Heavy rain anticipated in the next two weeks

Ethiopia _ Dam
Photo : MFAE

July 9, 2020

A satellite image shows that Ethiopia has started filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Voice of America Amharic service contacted spokesperson of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt, Dina Mufti.

Asked if he can confirm that Ethiopia has started filing the dam, he did not say “Yes, Ethiopia has started filling the dam.”

He rather said “It is possible to take it that way” while stating that he does not believe that it is necessary to give explanations about the satellite images.

Sudanese Consultant and Dam Expert, Abu Bakr Mohamed Al Mustafa, said earlier this week that “The first filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will not cause any problem for Sudan and Egypt.”

However, he confirmed indirectly. He told VOA journalist, Solomon Abate, that “the Dam is built to be filled with water but he said he could not talk about the technical issue”.

This week, Ethiopia announced that the preparation to fill the dam is completed and the initial filing was scheduled to take place next week starting Tuesday.

During an interview with the VOA, Ambassador Dina Mufti said that the tripartite negotiation between the three countries (Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan) is going well.

The African Union is playing an observer role as the three countries continue to talk on outstanding legal and technical matters pertaining to the filing and operation of the Ethiopian Dam.

Ambassador Dina also said that Ethiopia supports that the African Union is taking part in the negotiation in a spirit of African solution for African problem and he expressed his hope that the three countries would reach an agreement on ways of using the water from the Nile for mutual development without causing significant harm to lower riparian countries.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopia opposed that Egypt took dispute over GERD to the United Nations Security Council saying that it constitutes a “security threat to the region.” Ethiopia’s response was that GERD is a locally funded development project and can in no way be a security threat to the region.

Ethiopian meteorological forecast indicates that heavy rain that could cause flooding is expected in the next two weeks which seems to be good timing to fill the dam.

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