TNCRD discusses initial report on Renaissance Dam in Addis Ababa 

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony. Ethiopia has begun diverting the Blue Nile as part of a giant dam project, officials said on May 29, 2013 risking potential unease from downstream nations Sudan and Egypt. The $4.2 billion (3.2 billion euro) Grand Renaissance Dam hydroelectric project had to divert a short section of the river -- one of two major tributaries to the main Nile -- to allow the main dam wall to be built. "To build the dam, the natural course must be dry," said Addis Tadele, spokesman for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), a day after a formal ceremony at the construction site. (AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM LLOYD GEORGE)

The Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD) held on Wednesday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city, its 16th meeting to discuss the situation of the dam in light of the initial report.

Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdelaty represents Egypt in the meeting, which was attended by his Ethiopian and Sudanese counterparts.

The committee discussed the initial report by the two French consultancy firms—BRL and Artelia—tasked with assessing the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries.

“The French BRL and Artelia consultants … will present the status of the study to the meeting,” Bizuneh Tolcha, the director of the Public Relations at Ethiopian Water, Irrigation, and Electricity Ministry, said, according to the Ethiopian News Agency on Tuesday.

The meeting comes as the 16th round of meetings of the committee, which aims to reach an agreement between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia about the Ethiopian dam, after the failure of the last meeting held in Sudan in September.

Abdelaty said before the meeting that the Egyptian embassy in Addis Ababa has met with the Ethiopian prime minister to prepare for the meeting of the Egyptian-Ethiopian high committee at the end of October.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian minister visited the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. According to the statement of his office, Abdelaty made sure that Ethiopia did not start filling the reservoir of the dam yet. The visit included the assistant dam and the power plant of the dam.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, formerly known as the Millennium Dam, is under construction in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia on the Blue Nile.

Construction of the Dam started in April 2011.  However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the Renaissance Dam could negatively affect its historic Nile water share of 55 billion square metres, which it has had access to since the historic 1959 agreement with Sudan.

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