Sudan expresses concern over second phase filling of Nile dam


Sudan on Thursday said it is concerned with Ethiopia’s announcement of intention to carry on with the second phase of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“The announcement by the Ethiopian Minister of Irrigation and Energy on his country’s intention to proceed with the GERD filling for the second year of 13.5 billion cubic meters of water in coming July, without prior notification and without signing a deal or exchanging of information with the Al-Rusaires Dam, constitutes a direct threat to Al-Rusaires Dam and to the lives of those who live on the banks of the Nile,” said Yasir Abbas, Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister.

The Sudanese minister made the remarks in a letter to South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, whose country is the current chair of the African Union (AU).

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the AU patronage over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project, while Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its freshwater, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.