Egypt notified that Ethiopia has resumed filling of dam

Egypt notified that Ethiopia has resumed filling of dam

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s irrigation minister said on Monday he had received official notice from Ethiopia that it had begun filling the reservoir behind its giant hydropower dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), for a second year.

Egypt has informed Ethiopia of its categorical rejection of the measure, which it regards as a threat to regional stability, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said in a statement.

Ethiopia says the dam on its Blue Nile is crucial to its economic development and providing power to its population.

Egypt views the dam as a grave threat to its Nile water supplies, on which it is almost entirely dependent. Sudan, another downstream country, has expressed concern about the safety of the dam and the impact on its own dams and water stations.

Egypt and Sudan have been engaged in a diplomatic campaign for a legally binding deal over the dam’s operation, but talks have repeatedly stalled.

The diplomatic push intensified ahead of the first filling of the dam with last summer’s rains in Ethiopia, and again in recent weeks ahead of the second filling.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to discuss the issue on Thursday, and Abdel Aty had written to the council to inform it of the latest developments, the statement said.

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