Our efforts to stop the Ethiopian Dictatorial Death Dams have started giving fruits internationally while in Ethiopia it is in the very embryonic state.
Recently the Chileans struggle to stop the damming the Andes- Patagonia and that of the Turkish anti dam revolt have given a hope to the people of the horn of Africa. In Kenya the manifestation against the dams is permitted officially while in Ethiopia it a crime against the regime of Melese Zenawie, nobody even consider criticizing rather than blindly supporting his megalomaniac Dams of destructions. China after destroying the region of the three dams has come to destroy the only sources of live water in Easter Africa by proposing and financing these death dams to Ethiopian dictator. Resistance is coming from around the world to resisting these destructive dams.
Here is the a recent article on CBS world watch on the Negative effect of the damming in Ethiopia written by Celia Hatton of CBS which reads as follows:-
“It’s a story that truly spans the globe: Activists from all over the world, including San Francisco, are trying to stop the construction of a dam in Ethiopia financed by a Chinese bank.
The Gibe 3 Dam is in the early phases of construction on Ethiopia’s powerful Omo River, using
The Ethiopian dictator covered under the umbrella of the Social Tsunami that engulfed the Arabic world especially Egypt lunched in human Dam constructions which will completely dry up the Nile river. According to the Ethiopian dictator Melese Zenawie the most gigantic dam will be built on the Nile which will cease the Nile from flowing to Egypt permanently. This will create artificial lake two times more than the actual size of Lake Tana which over 200KM wide. This is a dictatorial night mare of the new horn of Africa’s Water Emperor. Such gigantic dam will provoke stop definitively the annual flood of the Nile which the Egyptian farmers ritually wait every year for their farm since for the last 13’000 years. Such an inhuman dam not only destroy the environment definitively but also will risk the population of Khartoum and Cairo due in an expected earth quake on the volcanic highland plateau of the Horn of Africa. The region is stated on the two active moving plates on the moves permanently to create the news ocean of the world.
Melese Zenawi Death Millennium Dam will collapse and risk down stream riparians on the coming minimum movement of the Eastern Africa Plates:
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Yesterday the Afar region was taken by an Earth Quake:-
On March 31 st Magnitude 4.6 – ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
|Depth||3.2 km (2.0 miles) (poorly constrained)|
|Region||ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION|
|Location Uncertainty||horizontal +/- 11.9 km (7.4 miles); depth +/- 46.5 km (28.9 miles)|
|Parameters||NST= 31, Nph= 31, Dmin=314 km, Rmss=0.93 sec, Gp=122°,|
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=5
Melese Zenawie fearing the coming social Tsunami that took Hosni Mubarak tries to deter the attention of the Ethiopians with a new conflict with Egypt. His recent declaration to take over Eritrea did not change the position of the Ethiopian against his regime. The recent intervention in Somalia to fight Al Qaida like his friend in Libya Gaddafi did not have any world attention to him too. The dictator not only in the Nile he is caught in the whirlwind of dam constructions even in the most fragile rift valley of the Omo River. It is a high time to stop such mad man from committing in human catastrophe in the region which is comparable or worth than the resent Japanese Tsunami and earth Quake, by inundating Khartoum and Cairo. In the first phase the dame will cease the flow of the Nile for more than three or four years the time to fill the gigantic dam. This will suck all the water from Lake Tana. In the 2nd phase any movement in the Eastern Africa plates will create will bust the dame risking the lives of millions in downstream cities like Khartoum, Cairo… by artificial flood wiping out everything down river.
The world body must intervene to stop the water dictator from creating artificial catastrophe by the Ethiopian mad man Melese Zenawie who lost his brain in the most fragile part of the world. His main objective is to sell maximum of land for the grabbers by promising them water for irrigation. Such irrigation will stop the flow of the river definitively.
4 min – 1 day ago – Uploaded by lovenium
Ethiopia to construct the Great Millennium Nile Dam with an estimated cost of 80 billion Birr. Ethiopian Government would fully …
1 Jan 2007
MOT 1935: Animated MAP OF ETHIOPIA: Nile River highlighted. Proposed dam just SE of Lake Tana.
4 min – 16 Jan 2011 – Uploaded by EthioArbenya
Meles Zenawi warns Egypt off Nile war ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) — Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the River Nile …
7 min – 14 Mar 2010 – Uploaded by Axumite Empire
8 min – 28 May 2010 – Uploaded by baymillermom
Israel news clip that says Nile river runs from Egypt ,Sudan down toEthiopia. Ethiopia has more of Nile in its country but …
NILE DEBATE EMPHASIZES CONSERVATION, WATER SHARING (East African Form)
MARCH 30, 2011
“President Anwar Sadat once famously threatened Ethiopia with war if Addis Ababa diverted water out of the Nile basin into other areas of Ethiopia.”
Professor Richard Tutwiler of the American University in Cairo says potential projects in Ethiopia and Sudan could help preserve Nile waters
THE NILE RIVER IS A MAIN SOURCE OF WATER FOR MANY COUNTRIES
The Nile is the world’s longest river, spanning a distance of almost 6,600 kilometers.
It is formed from the White Nile, which originates in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, and the Blue Nile, which begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The two rivers meet in Sudan and travel northwards, flowing through Egypt and seven upstream countries before finally emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.
Water use issues have long been a source of contention among the Nile Basin countries, who disagree on what is an equitable distribution of the river’s waters. For decades the answer to that question has been determined by an agreement that’s recently re-negotiated and that could alter the historic water-sharing arrangements for the Nile.
Entitled the Cooperative Framework Agreement, it was signed in late February by Burundi, which joins other countries — Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda – that are seeking what they consider a more equitable share of the river waters.
Egypt, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still mulling over the framework’s provisions.
The accord was prepared during 11 years of negotiations among nine of the 10 countries in the basin. Eritrea did not participate directly in these negotiations but did serve as an observer. Last May, the document was put forward for signature by the participating governments.
Richard N. Tutwiler, a research professor and director of the Desert Development Center at the American University in Cairo, says with Burundi’s signing, the countries can move on to ratification.
After the sixth signature, says Tutwiler, the agreement stipulates the formation of a commission among the Nile Valley countries to review water control projects along the river basin.
World Bank (Arne Hoel)
FISHERMAN ON THE WHITE NILE (MORADA). KHARTOUM, SUDAN.
“We can expect things might start happening in terms of this commission as early as May of this year,” says Tutwiler.
Egypt and Sudan have reservations about the cooperative framework agreement. “In particular,” says Professor Tutwiler, “article 14 of the agreement is very much in dispute,” especially between downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, and the other countries.
The issue is water security.
Article 14b does not recognize the historic right of Egypt to 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile’s waters, as did the 1959 treaty.
“[Egypt does not] have the power to turn on or turn off the tap of the Nile,” says Tutwiler. “So it is important to point out that Egypt has been lobbying very hard at the negotiating table and with international bodies to define water security so as to maintain the same amount of water it is receiving now and looking to the future as it moves forward.”
RULES OF RATIFICATION
Professor Tutwiler says ratification is a two stage process. Once governments sign the treaty, it must be ratified by the legislature. Out of the nine Nile basin countries, six have signed.
VOA – E. Arrott
IN EGYPT THE NILE HAS ALLOWED AGRICULTURE TO FLOURISH FOR MILLENIA.
Egypt and Sudan have announced they don’t intend to sign the present document in its present form. The DRC is still undecided, but most people think it will sign by May, which, according to Tutwiler, “is the one-year period for signature from the time the document was introduced.”
In the second stage, national legislatures must ratify the agreement. For each country, the process is slightly different, says Tutwiler.
“The idea is if six countries ratify, at least [in those countries] the agreement becomes the legislative law in operation. In other words, among the ratifying countries, they have agreed that it will be a governing document for relations among themselves in terms of cooperation regarding water use,” explains Tutwiler.
“As far as Egypt is concerned,” Tutwiler says, “it does not agree, [even though] if six signed, by default it is bound by the agreement.”
But according to al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt’s assistant foreign minister for African Affairs, Mona Omar, said the new accord is non-binding because Egypt has not signed. An official spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Essam Khalifa, says the issue can be amicably resolved “with a little bit of understanding regarding the needs of the conflicting parties.”
NILE RIVER TREATIES
The treaty of 1929, between Egypt and then-colonial power Britain, was among the first to govern waters in international river basins. It gave Egypt permission to build whatever projects it liked along the Nile without the consent of other parties, while allowing Cairo to veto up-stream projects that could threaten its share of water.
NILE WATERS FROM ETHIOPIA HELP SUSTAIN EGYPTIAN LIVESTOCK
But Tutwiler points out that post-colonial governments do not recognize it as binding. Tutwiler says the 1959 treaty is recognized as definitive. It guaranteed Egypt 55.5 billion cubic meters of water per year, and Sudan 18.5 billion. The treaty was used as the basis for the agreement between Khartoum and Cairo to build the Aswan dam, which flooded a large part of northern Sudan.
He says none of the upstream countries, such as Uganda, Tanzania, or Ethiopia, recognize the 1929 agreement as valid.
President Anwar Sadat once famously threatened Ethiopia with war if it diverted water out of the Nile Basin into other areas of Ethiopia. Tutwiler says, “By and large Ethiopia has not done that, although they have talked about it and have various projects on the drawing board.”
PRESIDENT ANWAR SADAT
But Tutwiler says Egypt has. “Egypt has taken water out of the Nile and put it across the Suez Canal and into the Sinai, which is not geographically speaking part of the Nile Basin,” he says.
“Ethiopia was very quick to point that out. This was almost 40 years ago, and not since Sadat has Egypt ever threatened Ethiopia in the same way with military action,” she says.
The difficulty of taking military action within the Nile Basin very much work against any real military action, says Tutweiler. Much of the terrain is harsh and Egypt is limited in the reach of its air power. But he says there’s room for recourse to diplomatic and economic actions and solutions.
FOCUS ON SUDAN
Tutwiler says many observers are watching Sudan.
In January, southern Sudanese voted for independence. “The creation of a new southern Sudan state changes the whole equation,” Tutwiler says. So far, the government of southern Sudan has not actually articulated a Nile Basin policy.
Most observers assume that southern Sudan would not want to give up any water that passes through its territory.
A proposed canal could mitigate Nile waters lost in the swamps of southern Sudan
According to Tutwiler, one of the major historical issues regarding Sudan has been a project first proposed by the British in 1904 to build a very long canal in southern Sudan. The world’s largest fresh water swamp is in southern Sudan and half of the Nile water flows from equatorial Africa into that swamp and, he says, “evaporates before it can move on northward to the White Nile.”
The idea of the project is to dig a canal called the Jongeli Canal around the swamp to divert the water flowing to the swamp into the canal. Tutwiler says the project could save up to eight million cubic meters of water from evaporation that could then be used in northern Sudan and on into Egypt.
“Egypt of course would like to have the canal built. They have already started discussion with north and south Sudan on the issue,” Tutwiler says.
So far, the southern Sudanese are not saying they are for it or against it. For now they say it is not a major priority for them because they have a nation to build.
“But one suspects that they would not like to divert that water from the swamp, because in fact southern Sudanese people who live there depend on the swamp for much of their livelihood,” says Tutwiler.
“These people are cattle herders and they need the water. The swamps provide grazing land. If the swamps were to be drained,” Tutwiler says, “those people would suffer economically.”
Southern Sudanese seem not to be interested in pursuing the project and, according to Tutwiler, it might cause problems between them and the northern Sudanese, allied with Egypt.
FUTURE OF THE NILE
Tutwiler says Egyptians are always worried about the future of the Nile, the country’s main supply of fresh water.
“Egyptian concerns are real and well founded,” says Tutwiler. He adds that Cairo’s position for now will be to focus on the question of water security, which is the bone of contention in the current draft agreement.
As far as the states in the region are concerned they will try to persuade the Egyptians that they are also committed to the notion of equitable use of the Nile waters.
THE NILE SUPPORTS EGYPT’S VITAL FISHING INDUSTRY
Egypt is focused on maintaining the current arrangement.
“Their position essentially is, ‘If you leave us to keep 55.5 billion cubic meters of water, we will live within that envelope.’” Tutwiler says, “That will not be easy for the Egyptians because every year the population grows. In fact, every three weeks there is another 100 thousand net gain in the population and the water stays the same,” asserts Tutwiler.
The United Nations says water scarcity exists when a country goes below the national average of 1000 cubic meters per person per year. Egypt needs 80 billion cubic meters of water a year just to avoid water scarcity. Tutwiler says, “Egypt has long passed that threshold because it doesn’t have anywhere near that amount of water for 80 million people.”
Tutwiler says Egypt is making what he calls an admirable effort to develop a strategy to conserve and recycle water and live within its means.
THE UN SAYS A COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING WATER SCARCITY IF ITS PEOPLE RECEIVE BELOW 1000 CUBIC METERS PER PERSON PER YEAR.
“I think the other countries will probably try to persuade Egypt that whatever specific project that are being proposed will not substantially harm Egypt’s interests, and this I think will be what they will try to say to keep the Egyptians involved in the discussions as cooperators and partners in the basin,” says Tutwiler.
He adds that the Egyptians are willing to discuss those issues in good faith but still are going to think in terms of a kind of bottom line, which is their water security.
ETHIOPIA’S BLUE NILE
Eighty percent of the Blue Nile flows from Ethiopia and reaches the Aswan Dam on the border of Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia is the key as far as Egypt is concerned
Lately, Ethiopia has undertaken an ambitious program of dam construction in parts of the Nile basin located in its territory. The country has a deficit of power, and most of these dams produce electricity, although some have small irrigation components.
HYDROPOWER AND WATERS FOR IRRIGATION FROM THE NILE COULD HELP DEVELOP RURAL ETHIOPIA
Some studies indicate that properly managed hydro-power dams in Ethiopia could benefit Egypt with more water. “You cannot generate electricity in a hydro-dam unless you let the water through the dam,” explains Tutwiler.
“Secondly,” Tutwiler says, “if you build up a head [of stored water behind the dam] to generate electricity, then in effect you are storing water in Ethiopia where you don’t have nearly as much evaporation as you would in Lake Nasser in the Sahara desert in Egypt and northern Sudan.”
The Blue Nile in Ethiopia is a seasonal river. Most of the water accumulates in the monsoon season between June and September. “By building hydro dams Tutwiler says, “You can actually reduce the effects of flooding and even out the water flow throughout the year.”
This in turn benefits Egypt in terms of the amount of water it can use. According to Tutwiler, it is a kind of ecological balance between, hot season, rainy season, cooler temperatures and hotter temperatures.
WHAT TO DO
“There are many technical solutions as well as developmental projects that can be implemented to improve the ecological balance of the Nile basin,” says Tutwiler.
In the case of Egypt, there is much that can be done to save and reuse water. Tutwiler says Egyptians are actually very much in line with improving their water use efficiently.
Upstream, where the water is generated by rainfall, it’s a different story.
In Ethiopia Tutwiler says, “The watersheds over the last hundred years have suffered a great deal of degradation primarily to deforestation and bad agricultural practices that have created more erosion.”
Tutwiler says the Ethiopian National Water Resources Management Plan has adopted a strategy to try to revitalize a lot of the watershed eco-system so more water can be retained in the soil and in the geology of the Ethiopian highlands.
This would ultimately benefit the downstream countries, because more water would be saved in an ecological and environmentally friendly way with less water lost to run-off or evaporation.
THE CHINA CONNECTION
Tutwiler says politics are changing for the Nile countries. He says as in other African countries, many Nile nations are becoming more stable, and gaining more control over their national territory.
“Ethiopia is a good case in point,” says Tutwiler. “Since the 1970s, after the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, we had prolonged civil wars and instability, and now for almost 20 odd years Ethiopia has had relative stability.
The country is starting to develop. With all these projects in Ethiopia, such as hydro-power plants, the electricity grid extending outwards, water and sanitation improving, society seems to be progressing economically, though maybe not as fast as they should.”
Tutwiler says, “It is the same in Uganda. The country went through a long period of instability and is now starting to firm up and to make progress.”
He says there’s also a great deal of international interest in foreign investment in the Nile basin region today.
Tutwiler says one of the big players in the Nile basin is China, which is helping finance and build dams in Sudan and Ethiopia.
“Previously,” Tutwiler says, “these large dam projects could only be refinanced through institutions like the World Bank. The World Bank used to use its policy to mediate among competing interests in the basin. Now all that has been replaced by the Chinese.”
Breaking Death Dams
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Millennium Dam will break in the following wise:- Let us learn and stop damming
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The genocidal Dictator Melese Zenawie started his construction of the long waited Megalomaniac dams at the expense of Ethiopian inhabitants and its environment with the rest of the riparian states. Especially Egypt, a country in full uprising since the 25th of January 2011 against the three decade Ethiopian type dictator and almost 60 years military rule. The Ethiopian dictator benefiting Egyptians internal crisis is rushing to build his destructive dams. These dams are mainly for the land grabbers and enrichment of the dictator and his equip. The local and regional population needs a human level construction to secure the continual flow of waters, the save guard of their human and natural environment.
The New Massive Dam is being constructed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation in Benishangul state, very close to the Sudanese border. Sudan and Egypt the traditional stake holders are immediately concerned as water of the Nile waters dwindling by megalomaniac dams. These countries are today caught in the internal convolutions. Sudan is taken by internal division and secession while Egypt is consumed by revolution.
The megalomaniac destructive dam on the Blue Nile construction has been awarded to the same Italian construction company that built the Gilgel Gibe II and Tana Beles dams Salini Costruttori SPA. The Ethiopian dictator has been criticized awarding the projects without a competitive national tender, in violation of its own procurement guidelines. The company has already begun deploying heavy construction machinery to the site to start the project. The so called “project x” power plant will have an electric generation capacity of 6,000MW, which has any utility for the imitate use local population except the multinational foreign land grabbers, and to increase the dictators financial resources to maintain power in Ethiopia at the expense environmental destruction and provocation of water shortage in riparian countries. The Dictatorial regime have forcedly displaced the local population of the region in order not have resistance and immediate revolt th hand to build these deadly dams.
The dam is expected to take at least five years to be completed, in the these period of time the Ethiopian dictator will surely not be there to celibate the end of the project.
The genocidal dictator has already three other power plants, which have been under construction in the past few years waiting to be finished before the fall of the regime following the northern Africa uprising which will soon swipe Ethiopia.
Ethiopian dictator dreams to become an African powerhouse due to its high hydropower potential. However, the highland is situated on volatile volcanic moving tectonic plates. Building a dam in the highland plateau will endanger the lives of millions in down river countries with a disastrous effect to its local inhabitants.
The dictator 2009 declare that the less than 10 percent of Ethiopians had access to electricity and the country is plagued by power outages. The genocidal dictator used the pretext of the countries power shortage kindled by his own blackouts to get support for his megalomaniac schemes. Ethiopia is a country which is not embarked industrialization does not need such amount of electric power. Over 85 % the population is traditional farmers struggling to survive. They can develop alternative and environment friendly project with less than the quarter of the money spend in these projects. The irredentist dictator is using the pretext of water power and famine for its own end to control the impoverished Ethiopians.
The successful completion of this dams is hoped to support the project of land grabbers in areas where the population is displaced areas to produce to 8,000 MW from the current rate of 2000 MW. Ethiopian dictator is planning to control the livelihood of countries of the region by his massive killer dams.
According to the dictator the benefits of the dams are not limited to hydro power, many dams are multi-purpose dams that are also designed to provide water for irrigation and flood control.
The dictator is building all Ethiopia’s power plants in the two main rivers of the Horn of Africa the Nile and the Omo River basin the home of many traditional societies, where their entire livelihood depends on them. Furthermore, both rivers are shared with Ethiopia’s neighbors and for none of them an international water sharing agreement exists were not signed in pre or post colonial, except the Nile. However, Ethiopian dictatorial regime is not a constructive participant in the Nile Basin Initiative. It wen even far by declaring recently war against Egypt just before 25 January revolt in Cairo.
The dictator is warned by the environmentalist that hydropower impoundment reduces water flow for a prolonged period if not permanently, since Ethiopia is located in highland volcanic crater with hundreds of underground volcanic tunnels where water infiltration is evident. In Ethiopia evaporation from the reservoir surfaces constitutes a permanent loss of water from the river though it is less than downstream in Egypt and Sudan. The worst is the irrigation which consumes water in quantities for newly grabbed commercial farms. Thus making it unavailable for downstream population in Egypt, Kenya and Sudan.
The Ethiopia has no agreement with Egypt or Sudan about the sharing of the Nile’s water, but has an international and local responsibilities not to abuse water resources for multinational companies that their only objective is to increase their benefit from their investment in the Land Grapping . Egypt says that its historic water rights would be violated by dams in Ethiopia and that its water security would be affected one way another by such dams in pre revolutionary period. The dictator’s response is ready to go to war than negotiate. Egypt and Sudan concluded a water sharing treaty in 1959. The agreement does not consider the water rights of other Nile riparian states and has never been recognized by Ethiopia. The dams will reduce the flow of water to Sudan and Egypt permanently. And will stop the traditional flooding for Egyptian traditional farmers in the Nile. And will destroy the Omotic population in Southern Ethiopia. In Kenya the Lake Turkana will cease to exist by creating unnecessary drought which we have started to show its effect recently in northern Kenya.
In one of recent studies, assuming an evaporation rate of one meter per year, an irrigated area of 200,000 hectares and a combined reservoir area of 1,000 square kilometers, the flow of the Nile could be reduced by three billion cubic meters per year, equivalent to about 5 percent of the current allocation of Egypt under the 1959 agreement. But Ethiopia has sold and selling millions of hectares to the land grabber which will reduce the water which crosses the high land plateau to zero.
The Omo River flowing to Kenya has been expressed concerns about downstream impacts on Lake Turkana eventually even drying due to direct impact of the upstream dams. The most prominent environmental organizations like Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers challenged the project in terms of its ecological destruction. The Doctor Richard Leaky the known paleoanthropologist have taken a strong stand against the damming the river OMO by demonstrating its negative effects in the totality of the regional ecosystem.
The recent war declaration of the Ethiopian dictator Melese Zenawie has menaced the Egypt’s water needs that will surpass its resources by 2017 if the current population 76 million continues to grow with the same rate. In the same year the country would need 86.2 billion cubic meters of water while resources would be only 71.4 billion cubic meters. The Nile is expected to supply only 80.5 percent of this Egyptian resource. This is only if Ethiopia which supplies 87% of the water did not use or divert the water or build any dam at the same time as menaced by the Ethiopian dictator. But in 2006 Egypt’s water resources stood at 64 billion cubic meters, of which the River Nile provided 55.5 billion cubic meters, or 86.7 %. As we know Egypt is heavily dependent on river water as it has little rainfall. Agriculture accounted for 83.3 percent of water consumption in Egypt today.
Today’s Egypt’s water supply is equivalent to an allocation of 860 cubic meters per capita per year, well below the water poverty line of 1,000 cubic meters per capita a year.
The Egyptian water allocation would also fall to 582 cubic meters per capita per year by 2017 if action was not taken to reverse the downward trend which is highly menaced by construct6ion dams and irrigation in the upper plateau of Ethiopia by the genocidal dictator of the country Melese Zenawie and the rest other riparian states as influenced by him in their recent singed pact.
The today highly contested by Nile basin countries 1929 agreement between Egypt and Britain, acting on behalf of its then east African colonies, gave Cairo the right to veto projects higher up the Nile that would affect its water share.
The secondly rejected 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan, supplementing the previous agreement, gave Egypt the right to 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water a year.
The agreements have created resentment among other Nile states and calls for changes to the pact, resisted by Egypt.
The colonial pact Egypt’s “permanent” quota of Nile water is estimated at 55.5 billion square meters. The fast growing Egyptian and Eastern African population growth in the coming two decades will aggravate the existing crisis. In the coming two decades the population of Egypt is expected to reach 100 million while and that of Ethiopia over 120 million. Under current climatic conditions and the continuous damming in Ethiopia the increasing the water quota for Egypt is impossible.
Egypt rejects the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) signed in Entebbe, Uganda in May last year. Four countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda) signed the CFA while Kenya joined signed up later as a declaration of war to her water supply.
Egypt and Sudan have refused to join. Other countries which did not sign are Burundi and Democratic Congo. Recently Burundi seems favoring Egypt while Ethiopia declares the coming water war.
The CFA does not specify exact water quotas for Nile Basin countries; it voids the agreements of 1929 and 1959 and allows each Nile Basin country to meet its needs for river water without harming other states. There is no way each country to meet their individual needs without harming Egypt which is at the end of the line for water supply.
The agreement also allows the commission, headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and comprised of representatives from all nine Nile Basin countries, to approve or reject proposals for water projects on the Nile. But Ethiopia continues to build dams without the approval of any of the member states voiding the existence of the pact.
Egypt helplessly trying to assure the agreements dating back to the 1890s and uphold single handedly. These are agreements which are in the past backed by international law and precedent, most notably the agreements of 1929 and 1959, but are rejected by the new agreement which is leading to the coming water war between Egypt and the rest of the riparian states.
The water security is now highly menaced. The signing the CFA by the riparian countries have created a complicated political situation, which is leading to a water crisis leading to UN expected war to explode any time.
Egypt start blaming a foreign interference in the issue of the Nile Basin in her recent declaration, in the following wise:-
“We do not and will not allow any outside party to manipulate the current situation and spoil relations; we are very conscious …that an international river cannot be managed by one country (Ethiopia) alone… Accordingly, we will protect our quota and our water security…
The general coordinator for Nile Basin affairs in Egypt’s foreign ministry identifies cooperation with other Nile Basin countries as the way to any resolution on how to share the river’s water
Many of the Nile Basin states which disagree with Egypt, especially Ethiopia, threaten the looming prospect of projects funded by the World Bank such as the construction of dams which could affect Egypt’s quota of Nile water.
“The World Bank has rules about pre-notification,” he explained. “Accordingly, all the countries must approve any project related to the river, and all the banks in the world, as well as economic and investment funds practice the same rules.
“Egypt is closely following developments on this issue everywhere in the world, and we have no objection to investments. In fact, we encourage them, participate and talk to donors candidly. We are adamant that relations with these countries continue on the right path.”
Gilgel Gibe II, Ethiopia’s pyramidal hydroelectric power plant built on the epicenter of moving East African and Nubian Plaque has dangerously started service after suspended operation for 11 months ago. The collapse of the tunnel was mainly caused by the movement of separating East African Rift Valley stretching from Afar Triangle down to the Omo , thus river creating a new ocean breaking the Horn of Africa from the rest of the continent into an island.
Gibe II dam fatally stopped operation immediately after it started service on these moving plates earlier this year due to the collapse of 26 km long tunnel.
This dangerous project initially cost Italian company Salini 375 million euros. The reconstruction of these destructive Dam cost almost half of the initial cost of construction.
Ethipian dictator’s other destructive Dams are those of Tana Beles at the source of the River Nile and Tekeze. Both dams’ will mostly be used for irrigation on the grabbed fertile lands, thus diminishing the amount of water that will flow down to Sudan and Egypt. With the increase of land grabbing in the country for intensive commercial farms, the river basin will also weaken and eventually dry the Nile and the Tekeze rivers. The traditional Ethiopian farmers who have been evicted from their ancestral farms by the land grabbers never used water intensive farms and crops for over a three millennium. In the contrarily these new commercial crops are not environment friendly rather will affect the only remaining meager forestry in the south if any left in the country. Commercial farms in general are water intensive when it comes producing in quantity. When it comes to non renewable fossil energy an industrial farms will need more than ever for the ever demanding cash crops production and most of the land could be used such production and rural urban immigration will definitively grow by the evicted farmers whose land have been grabbed moving to the cities.
The increase Eastern African tectonic plate movement created a Geological split in the tunnels, however, the ruling dictator gave order to reconstruct the deadly tunnel after being briefed that it had caused a major slit in the concrete lining 9kms deep in the over 25kms long tunnel on 22 January, almost a week after inauguration. But shamefully the Ethiopian genocidal strong man ordered the reopening of the risky plant which was closed 25 January, 2010.
GII uses water from another deadly dam constructed more than 26kms away for an existing power plant called GI. After it generates 180Mw at the older station, the water is channeled through 25.8kms long, 6.3m diameter concrete tunnel bowered through chains of volcanic mountains to generate 420Mw at GII.
The recent Earth Quake which menaced the region with a force 5.1 riche Terre has affected the three dams in the region further risking the inhabitants. The arrogant obstinate Ethiopian dictator has provoked the extinction of the original cradle of humanity the Omotic population from the face of the earth. Over 1 and half million inhabitant down river will starve by end of the damming project by the drastic change of their traditional way of life depending on the cyclic flooding of the Omo River.
These fragile tunnels are supported by a steep elevation, two 1,000m long metal penstocks at GII pouring water from the tunnel in the mid-height of a tectonic mountain down to the turbines at the bottom, gushing power station menacing to explode even with a minimum earth Quake caused by ever opening moving rift valley which the dams helplessly trying to connect together. With water pressure and the moving plates could bust at any time in the rainy season like last winter over flooding the dams killed unknown number of people and live stock displacing over 100 thousands.
Ethiopia was forced to fall in a power crisis caused by the ruling regime led to a regular power shedding in order to justify its construction of megalomaniac dams in a country where the already existing dams have not been used to their maximum potential. The existing dams would have been reinforced before constructing further at the expense of the environment and extension of Omotic people. The dictator schedule for almost a decade now the country to embark on the construction of more than five ambitious power plants strictly to be used for export orientated commercial grabbed lands at the expense of the local farmers and power exportation for the neighboring countries, as Zneawie dreams to become a water power. Such projects will risk the down river inhabitants of Lake Turkana in Kenya, Sudan and Egypt.
The genocidal corrupted dictator ordered to shed power intensively over the past three years, thus artificially to prospect the resolution of the crisis by commissioning destructive plants, like GII. The hastily constructed dams proved the contrary by collapsing.
The so called Ethiopia’s landscape and its river basins are said to have given the country a potential to generate over 46,000Mw hydropower but its current electricity generation capacity is 2,000MW, more than double from 2006 is a myth. Since the country situated in live volcanic region of the world with a high risk of eruption and unprecedented earth quake will the lives of Millions in the region. The magalomaniac dictator Melese must be stopped before further damaging the region leading to water crisis as seen from his recent declartion of war against Egypt.
Ethiopia must embark to more alternative nature friendly energy powers like, gas, wind, solar and thermal energy than deadly dams to the destruction of the flora and fauna of the country. Moreover, such non consented projects will menace the neighboring countries like Egypt and Sudan leading to eventual war and conflict.
Prof. Muse Tegegne
In the Imperial Ethiopia war was declared from the king of king’s palace with a great drum known as Negariet. Ethiopia and Egypt had engaged in wars in their respective past and ancient past histories. According to the Antiquities writer Flavius Josephus (37 – c.100 AD/CE) that Egypt won once against Ethiopia with an army led by the Patriarch Moses around the Nile in the Lake Tana at the source of the Blue Nile. In the later days in the time of the 25th Dynasty the Ethiopian kings Shebitku (698-690BC) , Taharqa (690-664 -BC ) ruled over Egypt.
In the past Ethiopian Kings had declared war against Egypt to protect the Copts by using the Nile as deterrence. The Egyptians accepted the Ethiopian demand as the return of the cross of Queen Helen of Byzantines given to the Christian Churches of Jesus found today in St. Mary of Lalibela menaced by the Nile in the past. Ethiopian tradition is full of tells how the kings used to Nile as an arm against the Islamic invention in the past.
In recent times Egypt lost two principal wars against Ethiopia at Gundet 1875 & Gura in 1876 and on the Red Sea shores at the fall of the Ottoman Empire which saved Ethiopia and Sudan from being a part of Egypt once for all.
Today the Ethiopian Strong Man the dictator Melese Zenawie has started beating the drum of war against Egypt. He was born in the historical capital of Ethiopia Adwa, where to this day two of the captured Egyptian canon from the Battle of Gura still stands. The dictator grew playing with this 100 years canons dreaming with a legend of war with Egypt which was won by the King of kings and Ras Alula. The genocidal dictator wanted to win the heart and the minds of Ethiopians by menacing the 2nd strong Army of the Continent after South Africa the dream of his childhood. The Egyptians preferred to play low profile. The new king of the Nile the Axumite Melese Zenawie did bit his lips when he declared that he will bit Egypt in the coming water wars with his army of half million famine dry bones, who are surviving from the a meal from international donation. He has been preparing the African and Ethiopian minds for such eventual outcome.
Now the ball is in the hands of the Egyptian leaders if they are going to accept the Nile Waters to be deviated and used highly commercial farms owned by the international Grabbers. Egypt is caught with election dilemma right now. Melese rugged the May 2010 election won with a record never seen in any Dictator capitals by scoring 99.6% of the votes in his favor.
Horn of Africa’s self proclaimed King of the Waters declared out rightly without respecting the sensibility of the Egyptians and other Nile riparian states in the following terms :-
“Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the River Nile and is also supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize the Horn of Africa nation, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawie said in an interview.”
‘Such declaration would come out only from a mouth of war monger not from a responsible leader from the African Unity capital Addis Ababa against one of its member states.
Recent refusal of Melse Zenawie’s to compromise and understanding put the riparian countries in a dead lock for more than a decade of contentious talks by claiming reparation from colonial injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929 which put Egypt and Sudan in a dilemma and refused to sign. Colonial treaties are the basis for even the existence of Sudan and the rest of Africans as a country. If you touch one of the colonial treaties all will scramble. Melese Zenawie recently recognized and gave lands to Sudan based on his own treaty as a payment for Sudan in order not host his oppositions in its soil. The fall of the Nile Colonial treaty will start war even with Sudan and is the being of the end for the AU which is based on the 1964 Cairo agreement to respect the entire colonial heritage based on the sacro saint frontiers designed by the colonialists. This will be the brining of long post colonial African wars declared by the Water dictator Melese Zenawie.
Under the original colonial pact Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic meters a year, the lion’s share of the Nile’s total flow of around 84 billion cubic meters, despite the fact some 87 percent of the water originates in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal to share the waters in May against the aforementioned colonial one. This was done, by the instigation of Melese Zenawie which will put an end the colonial treaties even to the Existent of Egypt and Sudan as a country. Thus provoking Egypt to call it a “national security” issue.
The Melese the self declared king of the waters words were not in vain. He has built five huge dams over the last decade and has begun construction on a new $1.4 billion hydropower facility — the biggest in Africa menacing even the survival of Egypt and Sudan. Egypt, almost totally dependent on the Nile and threatened by climate change, is closely watching hydroelectric dam construction in the upstream countries trying to work with the Dictator playing in his games by investing in Ethiopia.
Melese from childhood grew dreaming the 1870’s war with Egypt, and had prepared to punish them with waters in any case.
He said not to be happy with the rhetoric coming from the Egyptians but dismissed the claims of some analysts that war could eventually erupt.
“I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia,” Meles told Reuters in an interview. “Nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don’t think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that.”
The five signatories of the new deal have given the other Nile Basin countries one year to join the pact before putting it into action. Sudan has backed Egypt while Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi have so far refused to sign.
“The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century,” Meles told Reuters in an interview, referring to the fact the original treaty was negotiated by colonial administrators. In reality it is Melese who lives back in 1870’s.
Meles accused Egypt of trying to destabilize his country by supporting several small rebel groups but said it was a tactic that would no longer work.
“If we address the issues around which the rebel groups are mobilized then we can neutralize them and therefore make it impossible for the Egyptians to fish in troubled waters because there won’t be any,” he said
The Egyptian President replied to the provocation of the Ethiopians strong man:
“Egypt’s ties with Ethiopia are friendly and dismissed an Ethiopian assertion that Cairo was backing rebel groups in the Horn of Africa nation. This is the first time we hear that we support any group in any country. This is not something we do with any nation and this is not our form of conduct,” Mubarak told the state-run al-Ahram newspaper, making his first remarks on the issue.” The Egyptian Ryes further added that “”We have very amicable relations with Ethiopia,” “I was surprised by these comments because this is something we cannot do with any Arab or African country.”
After Meles’ remarks, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it was “amazed” by Ethiopia’s suggestion that Cairo might turn to military action in a row over the Nile waters, saying it did not want confrontation.
The Nile is a vital water and energy source for the nine countries stretching more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean. Melese was not born in the Nile regions of Ethiopia and never knew the Nile as a child but Tekeze River one of the main tributary of the Nile, where he built on of the megalomaniac dam to this day.
Melese revived his long childhood fantasy by declaring war against Egypt:
“Hopefully that shoud convince the Egyptians that, as direct conflict will not work, and as the indirect approach is not as effective as it used to be, the only sane option will be civil dialogue.” What he meant by direct talk his to destroy the colonial treaties which will have a direct effect in all colonial legacies since one is connected with the other. He is ushering the end of the Horn of Africa as we know it in the post colonial period.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in July called for a scheduled November meeting of the nine countries to be attended by heads of state. Meles said that would not happen now rather he declared war and is taking every thing in his hands without consulting the other riparians .
The last meeting of all sides ended in stalemate and angry exchanges between water ministers at a news conference in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Nasreddin Allam told Reuters at that meeting “Ask the Egyptians to leave their culture and go and live in the desert because you need to take this water and to add it to other countries? “.
The War of Words is declared now the true ball is in the hands of Egyptians when they see their beloved Nile water is shrinking down slowly from their face by the dams and irrigations canals of the Ethiopian Dictator in the fields of commercial grabbed farms. Traditional Ethiopian farmers do not use the Nile rather the rain, but the news commercial crops like rice needs huge quantities of water. The dilemma is some Egyptians companies are investing in the grabbed land of highland Abyssinia. It is hard whom to trust up riverine or down streamers for a peaceful out come ? UN must interveane before its is too late?
Prof. Muse Tegegne
Gebe I an Ethiopian dam built on Eastern Africa’s separating tectonic plates without any geological survey has been over run as predicted and destroyed many farm lands with the loss of unknown number of human and animal lives. A dam constructed with a simple order of the ruling dictator has started costing lives and farms. The undetermined number of Omotic population killed like that of the 2006 floods. Such forced runoff will precipitate the eventual collapse of dams within 24 months after the flood creating a slope gradient of the soil surface near the gully as the recent studies predict in 40 % of the case.
The news passed in silence in a country where the regime does not tolerate critics when it comes to its megalomaniac constructions. In Ethiopia writing any article concerning the deadly dams is a taboo in a country where almost all the independent media are closed and the remaining journalists are fleeing. And the foreign independent Medias are not allowed to go and see and report, since dam construction has brought too much critic to the ruling dictator in the recent days. The only article about the looming catastrophe is a government media recently published in Amharic in order to keep it from international attention. The government gave the following biased information by the government controlled media Reporter on 25 August 2010. The governmental organ The Reporter did not even care for the human and animal lives but on the generator which they claimed that “it will cost over 20Million”. They claimed “it was burned out by the mass flow of uncontrolled water.” The main objective of such disinformation is to hide the main cause of destruction which is high rain on the Ethiopian altitude and the tectonic movement which is active in the region.
The article gives contradictory statements that the water was released from the dam by the electricians, at the same time it is reported that the water over run the dam due to the mass rain fall. The release of water in upstream by Gibe I could have a catastrophic repercussion on Gibe II and Gibe III which is not yet finished.
The dead bodies only would be found in downstream near and around lake Turkana as that of the 2006 dam water release incident in the tectonic death dams:-
“The death toll from flash floods in Ethiopia rose Monday after police reported an unknown number of bodies had been found in the country’s southwest, where 364 deaths have already been confirmed. The discovery of bodies on a remote delta in the flood-ravaged Omo River valley near the shores of Lake Turkana, on the Ethiopian-Kenyan border, came as authorities stepped up evacuation warnings in low-lying areas nationwide. ” Terra Daily Aug 21, 2006
This time year the government did not even issue a warning with the increasing flood all over the Ethiopian Highlands which left over 270000 people homeless. This year all dams around Ethiopia are threatened. The massif rain fall has flooded huge areas in the southwest, Koka dam on the Awash River in the east, and the Tise Abby on the Blue Nile in the north.
In Ethiopia like the flood 2006 hundred thousand farmlands has been flooded due to the heavy rains that pounded the region.
This year the monsoon rain has been heavy in Ethiopia as that of the Pakistan and China. The different is the Ethiopian highland plateau drains the water faster to the lowland valley in Omo and Afar regions menacing the dams, where in Asia the water floats. Heavy rain land slide and flooding will deteriorate the existing famine in the country. The Ethiopian famine is not only the outcome drought but also heavy rain in the harvest season which wipes out the farmlands and the mismanagement of the consecutive regimes which came to power in the country. The present regime perpetuates to existent to use it as a source of income to stay in power. The group in power today had used in the past the Band Aid internationally raised fund by Bob Geldof in 1984/85 to buy arms at the expense of the starving millions.
The Ethiopian high land plateau is flooded once again and most of the rain in the south and east will storm the dams in the Gebe and Awash Rivers found the rift valley. Today asking people who live around the dams to move to higher ground to take precautionary measures, as the rain in the highlands is increasing and dams start over flooding with water beyond their capacity is not enough as prevention measures. The best solution is to find the main cause of over flooding, which is so called the government flood control method created by pyramidal dams. The Ethiopian Dictator has to stop constructing them on such sliding land moving ground like that of Omo, since the region is situated in moving plates of the Eastern African Rift valley. One would not try to connect two separating plates by dam which will end up cracking and in the end will bust causing millions of lives down streams, unless you are a dictator and you have the world at your disposal.
Ethiopian Water Dictator Melese Zenawie promised to export electricity to Kenya, Sudan, and Djibouti in September 2010 after the rains and at the cost of the lives of the riparian population. The dictator forgot in his formula two equations:-
– One the riparian population that he calls insects or butter flays considered as dispensable,
-two the floods and the sliding soil which is out of his personal control or with that of China which could not even control its own dams, flood and sliding mud.
Melese Zenawie’s promised amounts were: — 230 kilovolt to Djibouti, 500 megawatts of electricity to Kenya & 200 megawatts to Sudan.
These promises are built on sinking sands seeing the geological situation of the moving plates creating a new ocean in the horn of Africa at the site where the Pharaoh is constructing his dooms day pyramidal dams.
The final solution would be to Stop Damming and start making alternative energy. Most of all start satisfying ones won needs before even thinking to export. The hypothetical electrical megawatts offers to the neighboring countries is just a pretext by the ruling Dictator to galvanize funds from financial institutions like African development and World Banks, that have already started to be skeptical to these megalomaniac catastrophic dams of the Ethiopian Water Dictator.
U.N. says 270,000 at risk as floods loom in Ethiopia
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 19 people were killed in mudslides after flooding last week and nearly 12,000 people had been displaced since then.
“Some 270,000 people could be affected by flooding in the (Amhara region),” OCHA said in a statement, quoting a contingency plan issued by regional authorities.
Flooding often affects Ethiopia’s lowlands during the rainy season between June and September. In 2006, more than 1,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 made homeless.
“New flooding has been reported in recent days, including in the eastern Amhara lowlands and in northern Somali Region,” it said.
The plan says $6.8 million would be needed to respond to such an emergency.
The country’s disaster management office gave a lower estimate, saying 153,000 people were likely to be affected by next month’s floods, of whom 25 per cent could lose their homes.
“Good contingency planning needs to be in place,” an aid worker monitoring the flooding told Reuters. “According to data from the meteorological office, the heavy rains will continue through September.”
Almost 5,000 people who fled to higher ground are now stranded and inaccessible to local authorities, according to the OCHA statement.
Significant flooding damages the country’s agriculture-based economy, washing away thousands of cattle, ruining crops and submerging roads. (Reporting by Barry Malone; editing by George Obulutsa and Andrew Dobbie)
INTERVIEW-Ethiopia rejects dam criticism, targets 10,000 MW
02 Sep 2010 15:12:50 GMT
The Horn of Africa nation’s ambitious dam building programme has drawn fire from human rights groups as well as from Egypt and other Nile River countries.
“We have a plan to reach 10,000 MW within the coming five years,” mines and energy minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, told Reuters in an interview.
“Most of the energy we plan to generate will come from hydropower.”
Ethiopia is overwhelmingly reliant on dams for its energy needs and has opened three over the last year, bringing the total number in the country to seven.
Another two are being built, including the huge Gibe III — a project that foreign charities say could leave more than 200,000 people reliant on food aid.
Rights groups, spearheaded by Survival International, have started an online campaign against the dam, which would generate 2,000 MW, and are lobbying international lenders not to contribute to its 1.4 billion euro ($1.79 billion) cost.
“These organisations do not want Ethiopia to develop,” Alemayehu said.
“Criticising countries like Ethiopia is their source of income. They have no reason to attack our dams. We have environmental and social plans in place.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) said last month that it had decided not to help fund the project but did not say why it had made that decision.
Alemayehu said it was possible the EIB had been pressured by rights groups.
“But I don’t know their reason,” he said. “It’s not a big problem for us. We have other options. And the funding at the moment is coming from our government.”
“NO NILE WAR”
Ethiopia’s hydropower plans are also closely watched by Egypt and Sudan who fear more dams on Ethiopia’s stretch of the Nile could leave them thirsty.
After more than a decade of talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal in May without their northern neighbours.
The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries — Egypt, Sudan, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo — one year to join the pact but the countries have been split by behind-the-scenes rows since the signing.
Under the 1929 deal, Egypt, which faces water shortages by 2017, is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic metres a year, the lion’s share of the Nile’s flow of 84 billion cubic metres. Some 85 percent of the Nile’s waters originate in Ethiopia.
The nine countries are due to meet again in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in November.
“What we will construct on the river will never cause any problems for the Egyptians,” Alemayehu said. “But the Egyptians always stand against Ethiopian development. They need to understand better what we are planning.”
Alemayehu, however, ruled out the possibility that war could erupt over the Nile.
“That will never happen,” he said. “Never.”
Ethiopia plans to export power to neighbouring Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya as soon as it meets its own growing energy needs, Alemayehu said.
Ethiopia rationed power for five months this year with outages every second day, which closed factories, hampered exports and fuelled a currency shortage.
“We should have no need to ration power in 2011 with our new dams,” Alemayehu said. “We are now building interconnectivity infrastructure with Sudan and Djibouti and that should be finished within six months.”
Power demand in Africa will rise by 150,000 MW between 2007 and 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.
|The Gibe III dam: Over before it has begun?|
|Written by Hannah Gibson (1)|
|Thursday, 02 September 2010 08:09|
|Energy shortfalls in Ethiopia have long been a problem, with frequent outages and reduced developmental capacity due to unreliable power supplies. The Ethiopian Government has therefore turned to large-scale hydroelectric power in an attempt to tackle the problem. As of 2010, five major hydroelectric projects are underway in the country, with more still in the planning stage.|
Gibe III is a hydropower project which, on completion, will comprise the tallest dam in Africa. The building of Gibe III however has been surrounded by controversy, mainly due to environmental and human rights concerns. The environmental impact of the dam and its associated reservoir is expected to be significant and thousands of people who live in the region will need to be relocated. Although construction of the dam has already begun, the project has not yet secured full funding and, under pressure from campaigners, some of the building work has been suspended. This discussion paper explores the issues relating to the hydro-electric projects on the Gilgel Gibe River in southern Ethiopia, focusing on Gibe III.
A background to the project: Gibe I and Gibe II
The Gibe hydropower project comprises a series of dams located along the Omo River in southern Ethiopia. The Omo River flows from an area approximately 300km southwest of Addis Ababa and on into Lake Turkana in the Rift Valley region of Kenya, and the Gilgel Gibe River is a tributary of the Omo River. Plans to develop the hydroelectric potential of the Gilgel Gibe River were first announced in the 1980s. Construction of the Gilgel Gibe plant started in 1986 and was completed in 2004, resulting in the Gibe I dam. The plant became Ethiopia’s largest power plant with a capacity of 184 megawatts, enough to power over 123,000 homes.(2)
However, from the outset however it was clear that the electricity generated by Gibe I would not be sufficient for Ethiopia’s growing power needs. The second phase of the development of the Gibe hydropower potential saw the introduction of the Gibe II plant. Located approximately 2 kilometres downstream of the Gibe I dam, Gibe II was introduced to channel the river that was regulated by the Gibe I dam through a 26km-long hydraulic tunnel. Gibe II has the capacity to generate more than 400 megawatts of electricity and there was no need for any of the inhabitants of the areas along the river to be relocated since it used structures already in place as part of Gibe I.(3) The Gibe II project was inaugurated in January 2010.
The Gibe III Project
Gibe III is the third in the series of cascading hydroelectric projects in the region. Gibe III is also located on the Omo River and on completion, will be the largest hydropower plant in Africa. Its anticipated power output of about 1870 megawatts will more than double the total installed capacity in Ethiopia, which in 2007 was 814 megawatts.(4) Ethiopia has suffered from frequent blackouts and power cuts over recent years and is in need of increased electrical supply. The planned generating capacity of Gibe III will create more power than Ethiopia will consume, meaning that surplus energy can be sold to neighbouring countries. Djibouti, Yemen, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt will all be in a position to purchase the excess energy from Ethiopia.(5)
According to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO), the sole provider or power in Ethiopia, the surplus energy is expected to create US$ 407 million in revenue with Ethiopia.(6) For Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, this additional revenue will provide a vital boost to the economy. The EEPCO also predicts that the regulation of the flow of the river, which floods annually under normal circumstances, will be beneficial for local inhabitants since the river will be navigable all year round.
Project met with opposition
Construction of Gibe III began in 2006 and was initially scheduled for completion in 2010. Concerns have been raised however, over the severe environmental degradation and the human rights implications that are predicated to accompany the project. The decreased water flow of the Omo River as a result of the Gibe III dam will have a significant impact on the ecosystems surrounding the river. Concerns have also been raised over the implications of resettlement and the loss of livelihood for the people who live along the Omo River. Human rights advocates say that the dam project has the potential to destroy the livelihoods of 500,000 people in Ethiopia and Kenya.(7) Flood retreat cultivation is central to the lives of many people living along the Omo River. Families traditionally plant riverbank plots as the river floods begin to retreat, with harvesting taking place a few months later. This silt-laden floodwaters mean additional fertilisers are not needed and the reliability of the harvest makes it a fundamental practice for the region’s food security.(8) With the introduction of the dam and the regulation of the flow of the river, this practice will no longer be possible.
Although construction is already under way on Gibe III, a collation of environmental and human rights groups have mounted a campaign to stop the project. The aim is to pressure financiers into ceasing their support of the project. It is in partly due to concerns that have been raised over the environmental and human impact of the project that the full construction cost has not yet been secured.
The project is predominately financed by the Ethiopian Government, with part of the project financed through a corporate bond issued by EEPCO, which is marketed to the Ethiopian diaspora. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank also considered funding the project, but have not yet approved any funding. The Exim Bank of China finances the transmission line to Addis Ababa and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China volunteered a US$ 500 million dollar loan, although this loan has also not yet been confirmed. In March 2010 the African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the main funders of the project, delayed a decision about a loan pending a review of the dam’s environmental impact. The review has been delayed twice previously, but the fact that the AfDB agreed to undertake the hydrological assessment has led opponents to believe that these issues were not studied sufficiently by project developers prior to the beginning of construction. Two previous environmental impact assessments conducted for EEPCO in 2006 and 2008 have also been challenged by the Africa Resources Working Group.(9)
A view to the future
Whilst even critics of the hydropower projects agree that Ethiopia needs to expand its energy production capacity in order to support development, whether large-scale hydropower plants is the best way to do this is a question that is being asked from many sides. The thought that Ethiopia will become one of the most hydropower-dependent nations in the world makes many wary of such a project. Such total dependence on rain in a time of global warming may be potentially disastrous in a country where drought-related food shortages are prevalent and water resources are critical for survival. In contrast, neighbouring Kenya has announced that it is stepping back from hydropower reliance due to the environmental conditions in the country.(10)
The inability of the Gibe III project to secure complete funding points is an ongoing problem for this project, in that it has not yet convinced people that the risks involved are worth it and necessary. It seems that even with construction under way, completion is not certain. Thorough and transparent ecological and human impact assessments need to be carried out in order for the project to move forward with minimum damage and delay and with maximum benefit for the region that the project is aimed at serving.
The Ethiopian Pharaoh, the shameless Melese Zenawie announced publically he will continue to pursue the building of the death dam on the river Omo and on the source of the Blue Nile. He called the people riparians as Butterflies to be eliminated. This is his official defiant declaration even after the African Development Bank and the European Bank blocked his megalomaniac dreams of water power financing at the expense of the people of Egypt, Southern Ethiopia and Kenya. His Dam on omo river will obliged the Kenyans to use the rest of the rivers that otherwise would have streamed to Egypt in their land, since Lake Turkana soon will dry immidately after the finishing of the Gebe III.
Dictator’s raged victory of the election of 23 May 2010, with dumped result of over 99% of the vote was a mock to all democracy loving nations. He publically insulted the US dam and that of the Survival international in the video here in Amharic below. He staged a demonstration in Washington DC to force the US government to change position against Egypt and support his megalomaniac damming projects over the Nile head waters. Melese the Sick Man of the Horn of Africa does not care for any environment destruction of the Ethiopian water basin. Melese to our surprise and that of the whole world was elected to represent the African continent on the international meetings where he produced a shameful result.
Melese Zenewie the Genocidal- Megalomaniac-Raciest-Mad Man must be halted before he destroys the region by war and unprecedented conflict through environmental cataclysm. This could be done by collective intervention supported by the UN. The UN Security Council must consider this sick man in power seriously than any eventual atomic treat in any part of the world. Since he actively produces destruction by proxy terrorism in Somalia, damming in most radical and expedient manor, by financing his way to power through famine and keep perpetuating the death of millions through endemic hunger.
European Investment Bank abandons Ethiopia mega dam5 August 2010
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is no longer considering funding Africa’s tallest dam, in Ethiopia. The hydroelectric dam, called Gibe III, has drawn international criticism because of the devastating effect it is likely to have on the food security of at least eight Ethiopian tribes.
In a statement, the EIB claims to have withdrawn from Gibe III because the Ethiopian government has found alternative funding sources for the dam. However the ICBC, the state-owned Chinese bank recently discussed as a potential funder, recently made it clear that the deal is not yet settled and far from guaranteed.
Before stepping back from Gibe III, the EIB completed a review of existing environment and social impact studies for the dam. The review confirms concerns from Survival and others that the lives of the tribes living in the Lower Omo Valley, downstream of Gibe III, will be fundamentally altered and their food security threatened if the dam is complete. The study also acknowledges that these tribes have not been adequately consulted.
The Lower Omo River in south west Ethiopia is home to eight different tribes whose population is about 200,000. They have lived there for centuries.
However the future of these tribes lies in the balance. A massive hydro-electric dam, Gibe III, is under construction on the Omo. When completed it will destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of the tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.
|Hamar girls display their ornate hair and adornments.|
© Eric Lafforgue/Survival
Salini Costruttori, an Italian company, started construction work on the Gibe III dam at the end of 2006, and has already built a third of it.
China’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has agreed to fund part of the construction of the dam. The Ethiopian government has also asked the African Development Bank and the Italian government to fund Gibe III, and they are expected to make a decision soon.
Survival and various regional and international organisations believe that the Gibe IIIDam will have catastrophic consequences for the tribes of the Omo River, who already live close to the margins of life in this dry and challenging area.
We are calling on the African Development Bank and other potential funders not to support this project until a complete and independent social and environmental impact study is carried out and the tribal peoples have been fully consulted and given their free informed and prior consent.
European Investment Bank abandons Ethiopia mega dam
5 AUGUST 2010
Act now to help the Omo Valley tribes
- Write a letter to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia urging him to reconsider the project.
- Donate to Survival’s campaign for the Omo Valley Tribes and other campaigns.
- Sign the petition to stop the Gibe III dam.
Mubarak pledges to keep Nile water in Egypt
While inaugurating the new Saft el-Laban corridor in Giza, President Mubarak assured that Nile water “will not extend beyond Egyptian borders.”
Mubarak further called for making optimal use of Nile water, carrying out seawater desalination projects, and using modern technology to develop new types of crops that can be irrigated with salt water in order to satisfy the growing demand for food.
Diaa Eddin al-Qoussi, former advisor to the minister of irrigation, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Mubarak’s statements clearly demonstrate that Egypt will not give up its Nile water quota in order to satisfy Israel. He added that Mubarak’s statements further emphasize that Egypt rejects any negotiations which aim to bring Nile water to Israel.
Maghawri Shehata Diab, former president of Minufiya University and a water expert, said Mubarak’s statements reflect a clear understanding of the geographical nature of the Nile Basin, as well as of the political and legal dimensions governing the distribution of water.
In related news, Kenya has announced that it is carrying out an assessment of the impact of Ethiopia’s Gibe III Dam. The dam, intended to generate hydroelectric power, would become the second largest dam in Africa after Egypt’s High Dam in Aswan.
The massive dam is scheduled to be completed by 2012 at an estimated cost of US$1.76 billion. Construction of the dam is mainly financed by the African Development Bank. The World Bank withdrew funding for the project under pressure from non-governmental organizations.
The dam will generate 1,800 megawatts of electricity, according to the Ethiopian government, which also says that Kenya has pledged to purchase some of the energy produced by the dam. As a result, Kenyan environmental groups have accused their government of taking greater interest in the well-being of Ethiopians.
The Ethiopian government says that environmental impact studies have shown that the dam will not negatively impact life in any local communities.
The Kenyan Minister of Power said that the Kenyan government and the European Investment Bank will both study the impact of the dam. The results of both studies will be submitted to the Kenyan government in December.
The Kenyan government’s decision to examine the potential impact of building the dam came in response to local and international pressure from rights groups. These groups cited Egypt’s threat of military intervention if Ethiopia carried out any projects that would intervene with the flow of the Blue Nile.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.
“If Ethiopia takes any action to block our right to the Nile waters, there will be no alternative for us but to use force. Tampering with the rights of a nation to water is tampering with its life, and a decision to go to war on this score is indisputable in the international community.” President Anwar el-Sadat
“We are not begging Egypt and Sudan to give us our fair share of the Nile,” Ethiopia’s water minister, Asfaw Dingamo, said on June 24. “No soldier on the Nile will prevent us from using the waters as long as we are not causing any significant harm to each other.”
The Nile form Greek word “Nelios”, meaning River Vally is the longest river in the world. The only river flowing from south to the north to words the orion constellation with the sphinx of Egypt with Giza Pyramid it marks the Milk-way known since the 12’000 BC in pre-Delugeian Egypt.
In the pharaonic Egypt over 5000 years ago the Nile was flowing under the foot of the Sphinx flooding at the rise of Sirius. It was a very important star to the ancient Egyptians, who called it the Star of Isis or the Nile Star .
On the rising of Sirius Egyptians knew it would soon be time for the flooding. This Flooding the Ethiopian dictator Menese Zenawie will be soon stopping. The seasonal flooding of the Nile is all the Egyptian life and the Zodiac as a center of the Earth is interwoven. The Twelve stars and the signs are also marked by the seasonal flow of the Nile river. Melese Zenawie the New Pharaoh of Ethiopia will be soon stopping draining Bahr al-Azraq the only source of the fertility and soil for livelihood for Egypt. 87 % of the Nile rises from Ethiopian high lands.
River Ruvyironza in When it comes from lake Victoria it changes its name to whit Nile and e flows generally north of and into and meets its tween Blue Nile known also Abay in Ethiopia or Bahr al-Azraq at Khartoum. Rising from the Abyssinian highlands travels 1529 km (950 mi) from Lake T’ana at the altitude of 2,150 m (7,054 ft) above sea level. From the confluence of the White and Blue Nile, the river continues to flow northwards into and on to the Mediterranean Sea. From its source Ruvyironza River it is 6671 km (4145 mi) long making the Nile river basin has an area of more than 3,349,000 sq km (1,293,049 sq mi).is the ultimate source of the Nile, it changes it flows to Kagera River. Kagera follows northern northward, connects the three countries the Great Lake , and slowly drains to Lake Victoria.
The Nile Cities like Cairo, Gondokoro, Khartoum, Aswan, Thebes/Luxor, Karnak, and the town of Alexandria lies near the Rozeta branch will soon short of sweet water to drink because the new megalomaniac Dictator Melese Zenawie once supported by Egypt during his struggle, will control the flow.
The major dams like Roseires Dam, Sennar Dam, Aswan High Dam, and Owen Falls Dam soon will be at the desposal the Water Dictator in Addis Ababa.
Egypt is one of the hottest and sunniest countries in the world. With the exception of a strip about 80 km/50 mi wide along the Mediterranean coast, Egypt has a desert climate, being entirely within the Sahara. While Ethiopia is located in the tropics and variations in altitude have produced a variety of microclimates.
The legendary fertility of Egypt is a consequence of the fact that about 3% of the country consists of the Nile valley and delta. The river Nile has no tributaries within Egypt but is nourished by the heavy rains that fall far to the south in Ethiopia and East Africa. The Nile valley and delta are intensively cultivated by irrigation and contain about 95% of Egypt’s population. The Mediterranean coastal strip has an average annual rainfall of 100-200mm/4-8 in, which is not sufficient to support crops. Over the rest of Egypt, roughly south of Cairo, the annual rainfall is a mere 25-50 mm/1-2 in. In the contrary Ethiopia revives 100 times rains fall morthan Egypt. The Ethiopian mean annual rainfall ranges from 2000-mm over some pocket areas in the southwest highlands, and less than 250-mm in the lowlands. In general, annual precipitation ranges from 800 to 2200-mm in the highlands (>1500 meters) and varies from less than 200 to 800-mm in the lowlands (<1500 meters). Rainfall also decreases northwards and eastwards from the high rainfall pocket area in the southwest.
The Ethiopian dictator Melese Zenawie is trying to lull Egypt to its destruction. He publicly claims that Egypt will receive pure water from Ethiopia witout any soil in his Egyptian TV interview. Thus, it is the end of Egypt as we know it. Egypt needs the soil embedded Nile water. Without such water the soil of Egypt’s farm lands will lose that yearly renovating fresh soil from the Ethiopian Highland plateau. The Nile will be transformed according to Melese Zenawe to White Nile. The new Ethiopian Blue Nile converted to White Nile will not make it to Egypt. It will vaporize in the Nubian Desert. The soil keeps the constancy of the two Niles to resist in crossing over 40°C burning Nubian desert to flow to Egypt.
The Ethiopian Dictator as recently remarked not only he will deprive the Nile from its soil content but also as he will control the yearly flood of the river( listen to his declaration in the video here under). The Nile River’s average discharge is about 300 million cubic meters per day will be soon be an old story when he start bottling and selling the sweet water in dollar. This undo flood control will destroy the Flora and fauna natural cycle near and around the great pharaonic river.
The megalomaniac Water Pharaoh of Ethiopia Melese Zenewa just to have a regional undue power is putting at risk the lives of millions of inhabitants in Ethiopia (Omotic people), Kenya ( lake Turkana ) Sudan and Egypt ( the Nile), by construction 0ver 500 dams in the principal water heads of the region.
Egypt pharaonic needs the yearly floods of the Nile. This in turn keeps the Egypt farm land refreshed and the cycle of the minimum of riverian annually need will be maintained. Ethiopia with annual rain fall of 2000mm does not need to build dams which will deprive Egypt who has only 200 mm of yearly rains. Ethiopia rather could use alternative energy sources, like thermodynamic, Solar, Wind, sleeping turbines (the Chinese are expert in this matter rather than building huge useless dams for their new friend Melese Zenawi). Egypt could even participate in the development of Geothermal energy rather than grabbing land in Ethiopia.
The Nile water constant flow without yearly flooding will completely change Egypt way of life around the Nile.
Ethiopia having over 12 rivers and 12 lakes does not need to stabilize the Nile and purify the water reaching Egypt if any left any way.
The Ethiopian Dictator is preparing for the coming war with Egypt. He has already send pamphlets to be distributed and mobilize the Ethiopians in Diaspora:- Read
Egypt softens position in Nile dispute
Egypt sounded a conciliatory note on Monday in a dispute over how Nile waters should be shared by the countries it passes through at an African summit in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
After more than a decade of talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal in May without their northern neighbours.
The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries — Egypt, Sudan, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo — one year to join the pact but the countries have been torn by behind-the-scenes debate since the signing.
“There are no strategic differences between us,” Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif told reporters at the summit. “The issue is only on some technical points that need resolution. The purpose of the Nile Basin agreements is development.”
The words mark a softening of the Egyptian position since a meeting of water ministers from the nine countries last month in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
“Ask the Egyptians to leave their culture and go and live in the desert because you need to take this water and to add it to other countries? No,” Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Nasreddin Allam told Reuters at that meeting.
The Nile, stretching more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, is a vital water and energy source for the countries through which it flows.
Egyptian state news agency MENA reported that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Nazif agreed at the AU summit that a meeting of the nine states, to take place in Nairobi by November, should be attended by heads of state.
Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo have not signed the deal yet and have so far been tight-lipped about whether they plan to or not.
Under the original pact Egypt, which faces possible water shortages by 2017, is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic metres a year, the lion’s share of the Nile’s total flow of around 84 billion cubic metres.
Some 85 percent of the Nile’s waters originate in Ethiopia.
May 7, 1929 – The Agreement between Egypt and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
- Egypt and Sudan utilize 48 and 4 billion cubic meters of the Nile flow per year, respectively;
- The flow of the Nile during January 20 to July 15 (dry season) would be reserved for Egypt;
- Egypt reserves the right to monitor the Nile flow in the upstream countries;
- Egypt assumed the right to undertake Nile river related projects without the consent of upper riparian states.
- Egypt assumed the right to veto any construction projects that would affect her interests adversely.
This agreement included:
In effect, this agreement gave Egypt complete control over the Nile during the dry season when water is most needed for agricultural irrigation. It also severely limits the amount of water allotted Sudan and provides no water to any of the other riparian states.
- This agreement included:
- The controversy on the quantity of average annual Nile flow was settled and agreed to be about 84 billion cubic meters measured at Aswan High Dam, in Egypt.
- The agreement allowed the entire average annual flow of the Nile to be shard among the Sudan and Egypt at 18.5 and 55.5 billion cubic meters, respectively.
- Annual water loss due to evaporation and other factors were agreed to be about 10 billion cubic meters. This quantity would be deducted from the Nile yield before share was assigned to Egypt and Sudan.
- Sudan, in agreement with Egypt, would construct projects that would enhance the Nile flow by preventing evaporation losses in the Sudd swamps of the White Nile located in the southern Sudan. The cost and benefit of same to be divided equally between them. If claim would come from the remaining riparian countries over the Nile water resource, both the Sudan and Egypt shall, together, handle the claims.
- If the claim prevails and the Nile water has to be shared with another riparian state, that allocated amount would be deducted from the Sudan’s and Egypt’s and allocations/shares in equal parts of Nile volume measured at Aswan.
- The agreement granted Egypt the right to constructs the Aswan High Dam that can store the entire annual Nile River flow of a year.
- It granted the Sudan to construct the Rosaries Dam on the Blue Nile and, to develop other irrigation and hydroelectric power generation until it fully utilizes its Nile share.
- A Permanent Joint Technical Commission to be established to secure the technical cooperation between them.
The 1959 Nile agreement between the Sudan and Egypt for full control utilization of the Nile waters.
The master architect of the New Nile agreement Melese Zenawie condemns the Nile to dry up and having irreversible effect by eventually bringing an end to the civilization of Egypt as we know it today. He malignancy plays as a friend of Egypt and Sudan in one hand on the other he pumps out the Africans against one another to fulfill his personal big finical dam projects. His over 500 mega dams project will be also the last blow to the Horn of Africa’s fragile ecological equilibrium. Egypt and Sudan will be the 1st victim of such megalomaniac project. (Prof. Muse Tegegne)
The new agreement, the Nile Basin Co-operative Framework, is to replace a 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan that gave them control of more than 90 per cent of the water flow.
|Analysis: Ten years of talks – and still no …|
Egypt warns that new Nile agreement could prove a ‘death sentence’
Cairo has jealously guarded the riches of Africa’s longest river. Now poorer nations have had enough. Daniel Howden reports
Monday, 31 May 2010
Egypt’s arable land stretches out over the map of North Africa like a green kite on a desert background. The string uncoils northwards from the Aswan high dam until it reaches the Nile Delta, where it opens into a triangle to meet the Mediterranean Sea.
This narrow fertile strip, fed by the world’s longest river, is where Egypt lives. Eighty million people are crammed into less than five per cent of the land. In most of the country it never rains and 90 per cent of the water on which the civilisation that built the pyramids depends comes from the river.
As Herodotus observed in the 5th century BC, Egypt is a gift of the Nile. And it is a gift that Cairo has worked assiduously to ensure nobody takes it away.
Two treaties signed more than half a century ago gave Egypt the lion’s share of the water from the Nile. But those deals, so crucial to one country, also set up an epic imbalance of resources that has led analysts to look to this river system as the likely theatre for the first of the long-heralded water wars. Now a fresh crisis has emerged to threaten Cairo’s hegemony of this most political of rivers as five of the 10 Nile basin countries have signed up to a new agreement that would give them a greater share of the waters and has been greeted in the Egyptian press as a “death sentence”.
The White Nile rises in East Africa in Lake Victoria and drains through Uganda into Sudan where it meets in Khartoum with the Blue Nile flowing from Ethiopia’s Lake Tana.
An exchange of letters in the Egyptian capital between the British ambassador and the Prime Minister of Egypt on 7 May, 1929 was sufficient to conclude the Nile Water agreement.
It read: “No irrigation or power works are to be constructed on the River Nile or its tributaries, or on the lakes from which it flows… which would entail prejudice to the interests of Egypt.”
In other words Egypt had monopoly of the waters. On behalf of its colonial possessions – Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – Britain, which was primarily concerned with the Suez Canal and the passage to India, had just signed away their most precious resource.
Egypt had the right to veto any project along the Nile and full rights of inspection. In 1959, this deal was overtaken by a new agreement between Egypt and Sudan splitting the waters 75 per cent to 25 per cent and guaranteeing Cairo “full control of the river”.
The results of this control are nowhere more clearly seen than at Lake Nasser, a man-made reservoir 550 kilometres long, created when Egypt completed the Aswan high dam. The country’s largest engineering project – constructed with Soviet assistance at the height of the Cold War — it took six years to build and another 5 years to fill.
Some 55.5 billion cubic metres of water gush from the Aswan dam into Egypt annually. It has enabled Cairo to regulate the life-giving annual flood, to irrigate its otherwise parched landscape, and at the point it was finished supplied half the country’s electricity needs.
With control of the Nile, Egypt’s agriculture has expanded fivefold in the ensuing years.
It also marks the effective border between downstream development and upstream poverty. Today, Egypt is approximately 10 times wealthier than Ethiopia. Militarily and economically it dwarfs every state on the banks of the river.
Without the water all this could change rapidly. “Egypt’s historic rights to Nile waters are a matter of life and death. We will not compromise them,” said Moufid Shehab, the Egyptian Minister of Legal Affairs.
Countries like Ethiopia, which accounts for 85 per cent of the river’s flow, never recognised the “colonial relic” treaties and are now seeking to right what they see as a historical wrong.
“Some people in Egypt have old-fashioned ideas based on the assumption that the Nile water belongs to Egypt,” Ethiopia’s premier Meles Zenawi said recently. “But the circumstances have changed and changed forever.”
Under pressure from upstream countries, Egypt agreed to take part in the Nile Basin initiative set up in Uganda’s Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria in 1999. While Cairo saw it as a talking shop with a mandate to share scientific data, the other states saw it as an opportunity to renegotiate the use of the Nile.
After a decade of talks with no sign of concessions from Egypt, five African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – made their own agreement on more favourable terms than the six per cent of water currently allowed them.
“We’ve been grappling with this since the 80s, Egypt didn’t want anyone to talk about the Nile,” said a senior UN official close to the talks. “Egypt has really pissed off other countries and this time unless there’s a miracle they will have to give ground.”
The Aswan is no longer the only mega-dam on the river. Ethiopia this month opened the 460MW Tana Beles dam, which would have been considered an act of war in Sadat’s time. A string of new dams are planned to join the Beles on the Blue Nile. On the White Nile Uganda is opening the controversial Bujagali dam.
The new framework agreement has been rejected by Egypt and its ally Sudan – while Eritrea has signalled its support for Cairo. Burundi is expected to back the new deal as soon as the current elections are over and DR Congo is expected to ignore lobbying from Egypt and follow suit.
With support from seven of the 10 riparian, or riverside, states the deal could be ratified and backed by the African Union.
Even Sudan’s support could be split along with the country itself if the south votes to break away from Khartoum at a referendum expected early next year. Diplomats believe the newly established South Sudan would back its upstream neighbours, while some are expecting the new state to even call itself the Nile Republic.
Behind the heated rhetoric of death sentences and lifeblood most observers believe that the current crisis will be resolved politically rather than militarily. The era in which Egyptian foreign policy was based on backing insurgencies and destabilising its southern neighbours may have past. David Grey, a visiting professor at Oxford University and senior water advisor to the World Bank, says the Nile Basin initiative for all its failures suggests a future in which shared water resources could yoke together former adversaries rather than divide them.
But he also warns of the far bigger crisis that’s coming:
“If you add climate change and growing populations the future is a very unpredictable, risky one.”
The Nile Basin is home to countries with rapidly expanding populations. Egypt’s population is expected to reach 121 million by 2050. Uganda’s population is expected to double long before then. The number of Ethiopians is projected to increase from 83 million to 183 million.
The bigger question is not whether a more equitable sharing of the Nile can avert a war, but whether the overexploited river can continue to meet the growing demands placed on it.
The great drought of the late 1980s provided a possible answer to that question. In Egypt, the drought is remembered as the “great water crisis” where the water level at the Aswan high dam dropped dangerously by 1988. Agriculture and industrial output were hit drastically, severely depleting foreign exchange reserves and hitting economic growth. A similar crisis now could destabilise the government with unpredictable consequences.
In Ethiopia the drought is remembered for the accompanying famine in 1984-5 – severely exacerbated by civil conflict and disastrous government policies – that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and brought the the country international attention.
Unless the current standoff is broken to provide for a unified management of the Nile basin for the first time then the next great drought could send the region back to the brink of a water war.
The Nile in literature
From John Keats’ ‘To The Nile’:
Nurse of swart nations since the world began,
Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile
Such men to honour thee, who, worn with toil,
Rest for a space ‘twixt Cairo and Decan?
From ‘God dies by the Nile’ by Egyptian psychiatrist and writer Nawal El-Saadawi:
The light of dawn glimmered on the river, revealing the minute waves, like tiny wrinkles in an old, sad, silent face. Deep underneath, its waters seemed immobile, their flow as imperceptible as a moment of passing time, or the slow movement of the clouds in the dark sky.
From ‘Rhadopis of Nubia’, by Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz:
They left their houses and hurried to the bank of the Nile to witness the first ripples, bearers of bounty and good fortune. The voice of the priest of Sothis resounded through Egypt’s still air, announcing the good news to the South: “Come celebrate the holy festival of the Nile!”
Uganda: Ethiopian led river Nile agreement signed without Egypt and Sudan
FRIDAY 14 MAY 2010 / BY GEOF MAGGA
River Nile basin states have today signed an agreement on the Nile river basin cooperative framework in which they agreed to collectively work towards conserving river Nile and equitably using it’s water.
This follows a statement made by Mohammed Allam, minister of water resources and irrigation that “Egypt reserves the right to take whatever course it sees suitable to safeguard its share,” while adding that the north African country saw the matter as a national security issue. “Egypt’s share of the Nile’s water is a historic right that Egypt has defended throughout its history,” Mohammed Allam had threatened.
But his Tanzanian counterpart explained that “Egypt and Sudan can always join the rest and sign the agreement since there is a provision of one year in which member countries can sign.”
Although Kenya’s minister of water did not turn up to sign the agreement, the county’s ambassador to Uganda, major general Henry Okange who represented his country at the signing ceremony said that the minster failed to turn up due to state duties.
The ambassador promised that the water minister would sign the agreement in the near future. “Kenya stands by the countries which have signed the agreement. The signing of the agreement is an initiative of equitable utilization of river Nile water by countries in the Nile basin which is good,” he said.
The Nile basin countries said they were tired of first getting permission from Egypt before using river Nile water for any development project like irrigation as required by a treaty signed during the colonial era between Egypt and Britain in 1929.
Led by Ethiopia, which contributes to over 80 per cent of the Nile’s water resource and yet enjoys an insignificant share, upper riparian countries among the Nile Basin countries have long sought an equitable share and a departure from pre-independent and colonial treaties. Egypt and Sudan alone enjoy 90 per cent of the Nile River’s water resource.
Negotiations between the ten countries of the Nile Basin Initiative to sign a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) have been ongoing for at least 13 years. Last month,negotiations between Nile basin member countries stalled over Cairo’s refusal to give its stamp of approval to a new Nile water share plan that could see a reduction of its water quota. Sudan has always supported Egypt.
Geologist confirms: Dams Ethiopia the end of the world for Egypt
Warned the Egyptian-American geologist known Rushdie Said the seriousness of Ethiopia to build dams on the Nile River for agriculture, “because this would be” the end of the world for Egypt, “he said.
He said that the crux of the problem of the Nile water back to a 1959 agreement made between Egypt and Sudan, according to which of countries sharing the Nile water comes from Ethiopia without leaving one centimeter to them.
Said revealed the numerous studies and books about the Nile River that there is a provision in the Convention states that “if requested by another part of the river the parties are negotiating to cede part of their share of this State.”
This came in a speech to a television program, against the backdrop of the signing of 5 African countries, the source of the Nile Basin countries of the seven, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya on a new framework agreement on the Nile River city of Entebbe, Uganda without the consent of Cairo and Khartoum.
For his part, suggested that Sudanese politician and veteran former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi solution to the problem of sharing the Nile waters is based on the use of vast territories in the Sudan, the optimal use in integrated farming “farmers” to meet the needs of all the Nile Basin countries willing to share water, in order to meet the burden fulfill the needs of the population food security in all these countries, including Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Which he considered Rushdie Said solution is unacceptable, “would detract from Egypt’s share in the Nile water, barely meet the needs of the Egyptian people note that Egypt does not have the alternative water resources in their possession the rest of the Nile Basin.”
He said that the best solution to this problem is a special formula weighing this matter and give Ethiopia the right to some of the water that comes from them,
At the same time pointed out that Egypt’s quota of Nile water amounting to 55.5 billion cubic meters, although it seems large quantity, but barely enough to cover the requirements of present-day Egypt in mind what the future?
And Dr. Rushdi Said Egyptian immigrant to the United States, which was celebrated from the days of ninetieth birthday, that Ethiopia has a lot of other water sources that are supposed to meet their needs,
Speaking for no other reasons hidden behind the right to ask Ethiopia to the Nile water is, the rejection of the Convention on the Egyptian-Sudanese since more than fifty years.