Ethiopia may Request Assistance From Russia in Monitoring Nile Water Levels

Alemayehu Tegenu Aargau, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Russia. Source:

The Ethiopian ambassador to Moscow, Alemayehu Tegenu, said on Sunday that Ethiopia may approach Russia for technical assistance in order to provide satellite images to monitor the water level in the river Nile in response to Sudan’s and Egypt’s claims over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Since 2012, Ethiopia has been carrying out the “Revival” dam project. Experts predict that when it is launched, Sudan and Egypt, which are located downstream, will experience a water deficit.

In an interview with Sputnik, the Ethiopian ambassador said, “the Russian side always proposes the technical assistance, and Ethiopia welcomes (it). Technical assistance is very important if the need arises, we can approach (Moscow with such a request). I know about this proposal, and I think it is well accepted.”

The Eastern Nile Basin’s riparian nations—Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia— have long been at odds with one another over water rights. The dispute heated up when Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 without first reaching an agreement with Egypt.

The ambassador said that the third stage of the dam’s filling process had just been completed, and the second turbine had started producing electricity, without altering the water levels in Sudan and Egypt.

“What is very interesting here is that we completed the filling (of the dam) and it didn’t impact the downstream countries. Rather, there was a very big flood in Sudan,” he added.

The construction of the USD 4 billion GERD started in April 2011. Downstream neighbours Sudan and Egypt have complained repeatedly, asserting that the dam’s construction would unavoidably result in water shortages. The three nations have met more than a dozen times since the construction began to discuss water distribution issues, but there are still differences.

This proposed partnership may foster international cooperation between the two regions as more foreign countries seek to establish partnerships with African countries.


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