Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

“I want to make it clear that your concerns about the GERD are legitimate, but we need to address this topic calmly… It is not because we practice wise politics [or] that we [prioritise] peace, that we allow in any way or form, the jeopardy of our national interests,” said the Egyptian president in his address, before adding that the state can use varied options to protect itself.

The GERD, located in Guba – 60km from Sudan and 750km from Addis Ababa – has the potential to reduce Egypt’s water shares by up to 30%, leading to a similar decrease in electricity production by the Aswan dam. Both Egypt and Sudan rely almost entirely on the Nile for water supplies to over 140 million people. Any problems in accessing water spells trouble for citizens of both countries.

One year ago, during Ethiopia’s first filling of reservoirs, Sudan claimed that its water levels dropped, thereby prompting Sudan to join Egypt in finding a solution to the GERD.

“The reality is that Ethiopia’s plan has failed. By early July, the country had started its second phase of filling and was supposed to collect a total quantity of 13.5bn cubic meters of water but failed to reach this objective, [only getting] a total of 8bn cubic meters [from] the two fillings,” says Hany Raslan, an analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.

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