Water from the Ethiopian Dam is now flowing from the top of 600 meters in the middle part of the dam
A day after power generation from the second turbine of Ethiopia’s mega dam project – The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – was announced, the government on Friday officially announced that the third filling of the dam is completed.
The middle part of the dam has now reached 600 meters above sea level and water is flowing to the lower riparian countries on top of it.
Last year, the height for that part of the dam was 575 meters when Ethiopia completed the second filling of the dam.
Filling the dam has been planned to take place in the rainy months of June, July and August. Due to the heavy rain Ethiopia received this year, the third filling is completed early – without affecting the water shares of lower riparian countries.
There are views that floor problems that Sudan experienced this year could have been worse had it not been for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Ethiopia has been arguing throughout the negotiation process, with Egypt and Sudan , that the dam has benefits for the lower riparian countries.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian President Sahle Work Zewde and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, among others, were on the ceremony in Guba, Benishangul region of Ethiopia where the dam is being constructed.
Abiy Ahmed spoke with passion regarding the economic potential of the dam when it is completed. Over 70 islands will be formed because of the dam ; forty of them have over ten hectares of land, some have from 800 to 2000 meters of hectares and the smallest ones will be five hectares of land.
He also talked about the potential the dam has for fishing activities.
“Abay [blue nile] is not our work. It is a gift of God that we are given to use it properly,” he said, as reported by the Ethiopian News Agency.
The Prime Minister added that if Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan properly utilize their opportunity to use the water for free, it is possible to undertake works that benefit even other African brotherly and sisterly countries.
Ethiopian President Sahle Work Zewde said the dam is the image of the winning Ethiopia. It demonstrates the “We can” Ethiopian spirit, she added.
Negotiation over the GERD between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan has been stalled for a long time now.
Egypt was threatening to take action if Ethiopia completes filling unilaterally. However, Ethiopia was arguing the memorandum of understanding signed between the three countries in 2015 does not restrict Ethiopia not to fill the dam while the dam construction continues.
Egypt has been implicated in wagging a proxy war against Ethiopia by financing and arming radical ethnic nationalists groups.
Currently, the dam is said to be 83 percent completed. The project manager has announced that the dam will be completed in the next two and half years.
Yesterday, the second turbine of the dam was inaugurated. It is generating 375 MW of power.
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