Ethiopia announces completion of 2nd-yr filling of disputed dam

Addis Ababa



The Ethiopian government announced the completion of the second-year filling of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir.

Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said in a Twitter post on Monday that the completion of the second year filling of the dam ahead of the initial schedule is due to the heavy rains across the country, reports xinhua news agency.

With the completion of the second year filling, the East African country can now operate two turbines at the mega hydroelectric dam, it was noted.

The construction of the 6,500-MW hydroelectric dam, which will be regarded as Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 billion cubic metres, started in April 2011 on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State in proximity to the Ethiopia-Sudan border.

However, the project has been a major issue of dispute since then among the three Nile-bounded countries of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.

Despite countless tripartite negotiations among experts, ministers and leaders of the three African countries, they are yet to reach a trilateral agreement regarding the project.

Ethiopia reiterates that the dam will power its development aspirations, and boost its aspirations to attain the middle-income status by 2025.

Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan frequently express their concern that the dam would affect their share of the river waters.

Rising from Lake Tana some 570-km north of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the Blue Nile or Abay River is one of the two principal headwaters of the world's longest river.-IANS

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