Although, several assuring statements from the Ethiopian Government that the currently being constructed Renaissance Dam will not affect the flow of Abay River, there still seems to be huge doubt on the side of the Egyptians.
Meeting after meeting has gone by without any meaningful outcome to ease the insecurities that lurk in Egypt.
Throughout the whole process, two things seem to become clearer and clearer. Those are; Egypt will not fully accept the building of the dam and Ethiopia will never go for ceasing the construction of the dam, even for a second.
The media from both countries are conducting a series of reports on the dam issue. They usually display a tendency to defend the concerns and decisions of their native nations, which is understandable.
That is why when writing this, as this column is an opinion column, I can not help but be biased.
The Nile issue has always been a sensitive issue among both sides. This I believe is because of the overall unfair and ridiculous claim that Egypt owns a majority of the water. By any logic, the claim by Egypt that it is entitled to the lion’s share is absolutely unacceptable. But, in saying that, we should always keep in mind that logic always goes out the window when interest is being compromised, especially in the world of politics.
So if logic and truth does not come in to play, what would be the next step? Do we just wallow in denial or try to come up with a solution for mutual benefit? Some actually choose the first option. The saying goes as denial (de-nile) is a river in Africa but in the current context, denial is where Egypt is in.
I do not think the Egyptians exactly understand what the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam means to Ethiopia. I don’t think they see.
“Ethiopia should also respect colonial-era agreements and a 1959 accord between Sudan and Egypt that allocates all of the river’s flow excluding evaporation to those two nations,” Badr Abdelatty, a spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry reportedly has said.
He also stated that by 2020, Egypt will require all of its assigned 55 billion cubic meters a year for vital use such as drinking, washing and sanitation.
The reaction of Egypt’s government to the dam being built would be completely valid and understandable if the dam significantly affected water flow on the river because it would put millions at risk .However, such evidence is yet to be seen.
On the other hand, even if the water flow was to decrease (not that I’m saying it would) 89 percent of the Nile water comes from Ethiopia, shouldn’t that give us the choice to use it when we want to help develop our country and lift our people out of poverty? All this can be summarized in the question “What about us?” But like I said in the beginning, logic is out the window.
In the meanwhile, as the issue between the two countries continues to unfold, reports state that, the dam will begin generating electricity within 18 months. This news, while a joy to Ethiopians, will make Egypt even more nervous.
Some think that a war would be the deciding point between the two countries; others say that Egypt’s government is adding fuel to the fire for its own propaganda. But the fact remains that there is always a better way to deal with things, and that is what both parties need to focus on.