The 4×4 roars off, kicking up a cloud of dust. With one hand on the wheel, the other stifling a yawn, Semegnew Bekele could do this trip with his eyes shut. A construction engineer, he has driven down this track at every hour of the day or night over the past three years. “Ordinary people are building an extraordinary project,” he says. He is referring to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (Gerd), in the north-west corner of the country close to the border with Sudan. Four hours away from the town of Assosa more than 8,500 workers and engineers are labouring on a massive project to harness the waters of the Blue Nile.
The countdown has already started for Bekele: he has three years left to complete this concrete colossus. “I don’t feel like a special person,” he says, “just an engineer leading the project.” True enough, the driving force behind the dam is former prime minister Meles Zenawi, who ran the country for more than two decades. He was obsessed with the country’s rebirth. The structure will be built, whatever the cost, he asserted, upon laying the first stone in April 2011. He died the following year. Continue reading
As new stories regarding this begin surfacing, it’s beginning to seem as if Egypt’s problem is more likely a neighboring country rising to power, as a hydro-electric dam doesn’t necessarily stem the flow of water, therefore manipulating the downstream flow. It relies on the water flowing to generate electricty.
CAIRO – Egypt will demand that Ethiopia stop construction of a Nile river dam and warned “all options are open” if it harms its water supply, advisers to President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday.
“It is Egypt’s right to defend its interests,” said Ayman Ali, one of Morsi’s advisers, in comments carried by the official MENA news agency.
“Other people have a right to seek their own interests. But there must be guarantees that the Ethiopian dam will not harm Egypt, otherwise all options are open,” he added. Continue reading
CAIRO (AP) — Politicians meeting with Egypt’s president on Monday proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam on the Nile River upstream.
Some of the politicians appeared unaware the meeting with President Mohammed Morsi was being carried live on TV. Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions, but said in concluding remarks that Egypt respects Ethiopia and its people and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation. Continue reading