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Irrigation minister: future negotiations with Ethiopia hinge on IPoE report

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The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Baha’a El-Din says Egypt will look to minimise cons and maximise benefits of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Photo from Wikipedia)

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
(Photo from Wikipedia)

Irrigation Minister Mohamed Baha’a El-Din said during his visit to Assiut that Egypt is waiting on a report by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Egypt’s share of the Nile water supply. The statement was made on Sunday, when the minister gave the green light to drain the Assiut aqueduct in order to improve and extend its foundations.

The minister said it is too early to say for certain whether the Ethiopian dam will have a negative impact, stressing the need to wait for the report, which is expected to be completed in May.

The IPoE is comprised of ten experts in the fields of water resources, hydrologic modelling and dam engineering, as well as socioeconomic and environmental experts from Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and members of the international community. The panel was established to review and relay the impact of the dam to the aforementioned countries.

Baha’a El-Din said the nature of future negotiations surrounding the dam hinge on what the panel reports, adding that negotiations between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia aim to mitigate the negative effects while simultaneously tapping into and expanding its positive effects.

The Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been the subject of controversy among the Nile countries. In April the head of the Egyptian Fishing Authority Amani Ismail said: “There is no longer room for doubt that Egypt is facing a real disaster in the coming months.”

Ismael said that the dam would change the course of the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile, adding that she believes the loss of water would reduce the electricity output from Egypt’s Aswan Dam by 25%-30%.

Egypt and Sudan are the largest recipients of Nile water, as per colonial agreements signed in 1929 and 1959 which ensure Egypt receives roughly 55 billion cubic metres of water annually; the Nile produces an estimated 84 billion cubic metres.

About the author

Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga

  • dave smith

    Dear brothers Egyptians.

    Water is a natural resources like oil, gas & gold. Egyptians sale their natural resources to Africans. Africans live in Kenya, Uganda pay for their own water.

    Last time when I was in Cairo I saw people getting free water everywhere. Clean water coverage in Egypt is almost 99%, in Africa is not even 30%. But the water is African resources.

    Using Africans water without paying is unjust , unfair and selfishness. As our Egyptians brothers’ sale their natural resources, Africans have the right to use or sale it to develop their country.

    • Saif Amr

      African nations have several dozen sources of fresh water, egypt only has ONE source. It’s all about management, if African nations were developed and well organized, they can make the most out of the resources that they have (which is a lot more than what Egypt has!)

      • Extraterrstrial

        You said “African Nations” !!! What was in your mind who Egypt is? If Egypt is not an African country then it is a big question, why Egypt is in the OAU and AU?

        • Saif Amr

          I meant African nations OTHER than Egypt

          • Extraterrstrial

            Don’t worry we know what African mean for Egyptian, we know what you are doing on Black people in Sinai.

          • dave smith

            If Egypt is African, it wouldn’t be sponsoring instability in African countries.

      • dave smith

        Egypt has lots of oil and gas. Africans pay to get oil and gas from Egypt and other oil rich countries. Africans spend more than their export revenue to access Egypt natural resources. So, Why Egypt tries to get free water in the expense of Africans? Africans have to benefit from their natural resources as Egypt and other oil rich countries do.

        United States of America pays Canada for the Columbia river water and hydroelectricity generated in USA . Canadian entitlement includes benefiting from hydroelectric operations downriver in the United States. Just from the electricity revenue Canada gets more than $300 million from USA. In this logic, Egypt has to share revenues from High dam hydroelectric generation to Africans because the resources belongs Africans.

        • Saif Amr

          The Columbia river treaty was a pact agreed upon by the two countries and identifies Canada as the rightful owner of the river, meanwhile, the Nile river does not solely belong to one nation, it belongs to all downstream nations, and has been that way for thousands of years

          • dave smith

            The Nile’s source is Africa & it’s belongs to Africans! Egypt has to pay the debt she owes to Africans for using their natural resources for free. You like it or not God gave Nile river to Africans and it will stay that way for ever! If you don’t acknowledge that, you will be the loser.

          • Saif Amr

            So you’re saying the Nile river is Africa and belongs to Africans, yet you contradict yourself by saying Egyptians (who are Africans) must pay for its share of the Nile?

            If its anyone that’s without moral integrity it would be the Ethiopia government, why should it restrict the Nile’s flow and deprive other countries who depend on it with their lives??

          • dave smith

            Since when you are claiming to be African? What ever the reason, as far as Africans pay for your oil and gas you should pay for our water too. No more exploiting African resources freely.

            Africans never deprived others, but they are demanding fair benefits from their natural resources as you do for your natural resources.

          • dave smith

            Since when you are claiming to be African? What ever the reason, as far as Africans pay for your oil and gas you should pay for our water too. No more exploiting African resources freely.

            Africans never deprived others, but they are demanding fair benefits from their natural resources as you do for your natural resources.

  • Extraterrstrial

    There can be no logical argument to stop Ethiopia making good out of the river. As an Ethiopian I have no word to tell Egypt how much I am tired of their blubbering about Ethiopian right to use the water as if Egypt is the source of the Nile (Nile is not even the right name of the river in Ethiopia),

    If Egypt can stop Ethiopia from using the water likewise Ethiopia also can stop Egypt from making good out the river, If Ethiopia can’t use the river then it should be a dumping site for nuclear waste. I will make money out of that and buy my bread.

    Isn’t it the right time now for Egypt to think twice on the way she is behaving towards Ethiopia, what do Egypt think Ethiopia is and who they are, a super power!!!

    • Omar Idris

      You know you are a radical, extraterrestrial. Egypt and Ethiopia will be friends but there is no way we can do this when Ethiopians are so belligerent. China needs to stop. Ethiopia has plenty of rivers but the people are wasteful. To Dam The river is like to bomb Egypt with nuclear bomb. I do not know what this weak Mohammed Mursi is doing. Enough is enough. Tell Ethiopian fanaticals to stop or it is an act of war.

      • Extraterrstrial

        You are not an Egyptian, most likely you are an Eritrean or OLF terrorist. A click on your nick name revels all the comments you made on this site.

        Here is one of your comment on a differnet thread:

        “የቤኒሻንጉል ጉምዝ ክልል የተፈናቀሉ የአማራ ብሔር ተወላጆች እንዲመለሱ ጥሪ አቀረበ
        Omar Idris • 19 days ago
        i oppose return of Amara neftenas. Neftenas are criminals. They are ocupiers. They force others to learn Amara. Benshangul must resist Amara immigration”

        You are a pie head!

      • mike

        Shaabya new

      • mike

        Shaabya new

        • Extraterrstrial

          Yes, you are right he is an Eritrean shabya parasite, they said they are independent state from Ethiopia but you find them sniffing and hate mongering about Ethiopia everywhere.

      • mike

        Shaabya new

      • mike

        Shaabya new

      • mike

        Shaabya new

      • mike

        Shaabya new

      • GET

        SORRY to say this.There
        is no cure for stupidity! You are a true stupid guy. You may be a member
        of one terrorist group who supported by Egypt Government to destabilized
        Ethiopia. We don’t expect Honey from the butterfly. Attacking or killing Ethiopians,
        ur homeland, in the hope of attaining political or religious aims is
        being a stupid person. For all starvation that can be prevented
        with small irrigation, the lost of our port to Red See, for the selling of
        human organ from Ethiopian refugees in
        SINA desert, for all civil war in Ethiopia for the last 30 years, Egypt has
        been sponsoring it and they will.. Wake up stupid guy, Egypt politicians is
        using you for their benefit, even they are laughing at you!! Do you think they
        like you??? I
        have learned that there were some stupid guys like you who had supported Italy during Adwa battel but Ethiopia
        affirmed its independence and negated the notion of European invincibility with
        a decisive defeat of Italian forces. The Battle of Adowa cost the lives
        of 289 Italian officers and 2,918 European soldiers, an additional 954 European
        troops could not be found, while 470 Italians were wounded. Some 700 Italians
        fell into the hands of the Ethiopian troops.. read again our stories ….

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

    • Saif Amr

      On the other hand, Egyptians get 99% of their water from the Nile as it is their only source of fresh water.

      • Gembre

        Dude, have an open mind. More than half of the Nile flows to the Mediterranean unused. So, if you think you are smart and you have a water shortage problem, then figure out that other half of the Nile rather than being belligerent.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • tseda

    let’s think positive. if we do the math, Egyptians has never used the whole Nile river water in their country, but they have used enormous amount of water for their needs then the rest of water goes to Mediterranean ocean. Ethiopia never wants to affect Egyptian people life. what we want is some amount water for our needs. If Egypt tries to bomb the dam, I think the gov’t never cares about his people; the consequence affects most of his people economy. Nile is a group of rivers and ponds, so we have so many ways that we an handle it. I would say for Ethiopia use the water but think for others, and also Egypt carefully watch before you choose bad options. We have nothing, but God gave us everything for people not only for somebody, so use it, share it, and help your self.

  • Give me water or death!!

    Here is the question to Egyptian you have been using the water for too long at the cost of Ethiopian lief consumed by famine (millions dead) nothing happened to you until today. Don’t you feel at list morally that it is wrong to kill Ethiopian for you to drink at our expense starting from now on? If that moral is out the window and you believe it is dog eat dog world.Think about this you are using it and if anyone try to use you will be belligerent because you fear the loss.If we Ethiopians can not utilize or drink it and you want to stop it by creating war and we respond to it by poison the water (not a ridicules idea at all considering every white nations had nuke in the their back pack while negotiating any deal) because it is not ours anyway. Who do you think will be the winner? Think again?

  • Extraterrstrial

    There are issues Egypt need to clarify with the Ethiopian people, we know Egyptian pioneering role in many of the wars and miseries of the Ethiopian poor, we know Egypt drinks Ethiopian water and fund Somali invasion of Ethiopia, we know.

    My question is that is Egypt capable of explaining herself in bleeding and antagonizing a country she is eternally depend on? How is that Egypt can explain helping Eritrea to bleed Ethiopia?

    The reality is that the source of the Nile will remain Ethiopian no matter how much Ethiopia disintegrated, Ethiopia will remain the source, the country Egypt persistently hate and bleed. How is that this policy can be explained and understood? Does Egypt have a shortage of critical thinkers in their foreign policy, why is that Egyptian policy devoid of a normal reasoning of good and evil?

    We see your fingerprints behind forces who are fighting to destroy the state of Ethiopia, why you are doing it while you are dependent of Ethiopia?

    Why doing evil?

    • dave smith

      Good points!

  • Pingback: Ethiopia begins diverting Blue Nile - Daily News Egypt

  • Pingback: Update: Ethiopia begins diverting Blue Nile - Daily News Egypt

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