Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD):
Ethiopia has started the second phase of filling a Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) reservoir on the upper Blue Nile, which raised tensions from Sudan and Egypt ahead of an upcoming UN Security Council meeting on the issue.
- Ethiopia had previously announced it would proceed to the second stage of filling in July, with or without a deal.
- The Nile, Africa’s longest river, has been at the center of a decade-long complex dispute involving several countries that are dependent on the river’s waters.
- Ethiopia began the construction of the GERD in 2011 on the Blue Nile.
- This 145-meter-tall hydropower project is Africa’s biggest dam project and will have lasting impacts on its longest river- Nile.
- Blue Nile is a tributary of the Nile river and it carries about two-thirds of the river’s water volume and most of the silt.
- Egypt, which lies downstream, has objected to the construction of the dam and proposed a longer timeline for the project.
- It does not want the water level of the Nile to dramatically drop as the reservoir fills with water in the initial stages.
- Sudan has also been involved due to its location.
- The Nile is an important water source in the region so there are concerns that this dispute may evolve into a full-fledged conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia.
- Recently, the USA has stepped in to mediate.