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Egypt Reviews with UN Officials ‘Negative Impact’ of GERD

Egypt Reviews with UN Officials ‘Negative Impact’ of GERD

Wednesday, 6 October, 2021 - 09:30
Egyptian Minister of Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Aty meets with a delegation of international organizations working in the field of water resources (Ministry of Water Resources)

Egypt reviewed with UN officials the negative impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River, stressing its keenness to reach an agreement that preserves its "water rights" and meets the aspirations of all the countries.


Egypt and Sudan have been in vain negotiations with Ethiopia for the last decade, aiming to reach an agreement on filling and operating the dam on the main tributary of the Nile.


The UN Security Council has called on the three countries to resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union (AU), stressing the need to reach a "binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD" within a reasonable timetable.


Egypt, along with Sudan, wants to conclude a legally binding agreement regulating the filling and operation of the dam, while Ethiopia rejects the proposal stressing its right to "development."


Egyptian Minister of Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Aty met on Tuesday with a delegation of international organizations working on water resources management, headed by the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, Elena Panova.


The meeting was also attended by representatives of the European Union and several diplomats from the embassies of the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland.


Abdel-Aty presented Egypt's strategy and plan for water management until 2050 to face the adverse effects of climate change.


He explained that Egypt has limited renewable water resources from the Nile River and received limited amounts of rainwater and groundwater in the deserts, indicating that the shortage is compensated by reusing agricultural drainage water and surface groundwater and importing food products.


The Minister presented the Egyptian water sector's challenges amid a population increase and climate change.


He pointed out that the volume of rainwater in Ethiopia amounts to more than 935 billion cubic meters of water annually and that 94 percent of Ethiopia's land is green. In contrast, the green land in Egypt is only 4 percent.


Ethiopia owns more than 100 million head of livestock and consumes 4 billion cubic meters of water annually, equal to the share of Egypt and Sudan combined.


He stressed Cairo's keenness to complete the negotiations while emphasizing Egypt's water rights, and reiterated the need to reach a just and binding agreement for all that meets the aspirations of all countries.


He emphasized that the dam and its impact on Nile River waters is one of the significant challenges facing Egypt nowadays, especially in light of the unilateral measures taken by Ethiopia regarding the filling and operation and the resulting negative repercussions.


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