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Egypt Seeks Solution to GERD Crisis that Preserves its Water Interests

Egypt Seeks Solution to GERD Crisis that Preserves its Water Interests

Friday, 20 May, 2022 - 06:45
A view from an airplane window shows buildings around the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt March 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Egypt is keen on resolving the dispute with Ethiopia over the giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile and reach an agreement that preserves the interests of all concerned countries.

It underscored the importance of the Nile River as a "source of cooperation and construction" since it is considered an international waterway.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is set to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa but has been a center of dispute with downstream nations Egypt and Sudan ever since work first began in 2011.

Egypt suffers from a scarcity of water resources and needs about 114 billion cubic meters annually, while the available water resources amount to 74 billion cubic meters.

The Nile water accounts for more than 90 percent of Egypt’s needs or 55.5 billion cubic meters.

It is expecting a shortage in its water share as Addis Ababa begins operating the GERD on the Nile River.

Therefore, it has been stressing the need to reach a legally-binding agreement to fill and operate the dam.

Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy took advantage of his participation in the "Water Security in Africa" symposium to speak about the water situation in Egypt.

The event was held on the sidelines of the ninth edition of the Africities Summit in Kisumu, Kenya, on Thursday.

Shaarawy stressed that his country is making tireless efforts in all governorates to preserve water and ensure the optimal use of water resources.

He presented the government’s plan to rationalize water consumption. He highlighted the national canal rehabilitation project, as well as efforts to transform the modern irrigation system to conserve water, treat agricultural and sanitary wastewater, desalinate sea water and purify lakes.

Shaarawy warned that the water issue affects climate changes in Africa, stressing that the Nile River must be a source of cooperation and construction.

He said the GERD crisis is one of the major issues that Cairo looks forward to addressing in a way that ensures no country is harmed and all water interests are protected.

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