Arab News

Ethiopia hits second-year target for f illing Nile reservoir


Ethiopia said on Monday it had attained its second-year target for filling a mega-dam on the Blue Nile River that has stoked tensions with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

“The first filling already was done last year. The second one is already done today. So today or tomorrow, second filling will be announced,” an official said, adding there is now enough water stored to begin producing energy.

Water Minister Seleshi Bekele later confirmed the milestone, which officials had earlier predicted would come in August.

In a post on Twitter, he attributed the accelerate­d timeline to “extreme rainfall” in the Blue Nile basin.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissanc­e Dam (GERD) has been at the center of a regional dispute ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011.

Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat because of their dependence on Nile waters, while Ethiopia deems it essential for its electrific­ation and developmen­t.

Talks held under the auspices of the African Union (AU) have failed to yield a three-way agreement on the dam’s filling and operations.

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