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Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

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.