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Ethiopia rejects Egypt’s proposal on GERD’s reservoir filling process

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Addis Ababa, September 18, 2019 (FBC) – Ethiopia has rejected a proposal tabled by Egypt regarding the filling process of reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr Engineer Seleshi Bekele, today briefed local media on the result of the meeting held between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt last Sunday and Monday in Cairo regarding the dam.

In the proposal, Egypt requested Ethiopia to fill the dam’s reservoir in seven years and to release 40 billion cubic meter of water annually.

It also demanded the dam’s main purpose to be only to release water when the water volume at the Aswan Dam is reduced to 165 meters above ground level, he said.

Ethiopia rejected the proposal because it breached the agreement signed between the three countries on  fair and reasonable utilization of the waters of the Nile River, he said.

He added Ethiopia rejected the proposal because it pushes the country into “unnecessary and harmful obligation.”

Ethiopia recently announced plan to finalize GERD project in 2023.

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed said finalizing the dam is a key priority according to the timeline established.

GERD is located in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, approximately 500 km North West of the capital Addis Ababa.

The construction of the dam has reached over 67%.

At the end of the works, it will be the largest dam in Africa with a total installed power of 6,450 MW.