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Ethiopia Announces Completion of 1st Phase GERD Filling

By Staff Reporter

GERD-first-filling-completedJuly 22, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Office on Wednesday announced the completion of the first phase water filling activity of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD).

The office said there has been adequate rainfall and running water from the highlands of Ethiopia and the Abay (Nile) river has begun overflowing the dam.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sent congratulatory messages to the Ethiopian public and extended gratitude to former Prime Ministers, engineers, workers, water experts, negotiators, and others who have had roles for such a success.

Accordingly, the dam has contained 4.9 billion cubic meters of water and will begin generating power next September with two turbines.

He said the dam will be fully completed over the coming three years if joint efforts are exerted and called on Ethiopians to realize the five billion tree planting scheme launched by the government.

The first phase water filling followed AU led talks between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt in Addis Ababa as convened by South African President and African Union Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The talks which were held at the Heads of State and Government levels concluded with all parties reaching a major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement, the Prime Minister office indicated.

The three countries agreed for further technical discussions on the filling to continue in the African Union (AU) led process and proceed to a comprehensive agreement.

In the talks, Ethiopia reiterated its commitment to a balanced and win-win negotiation that ascertains the Abay River will benefit all the three countries.

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed commended the AU-led process for supporting the three countries to address differences and reach an agreement.

He appreciated the resolve to African solutions to African problems undertaken through existing regional mechanisms and reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to continued equitable and reasonable utilization of Abay River waters without significant harm to Sudan and Egypt.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdela Hamdoc described the AU led talks as successful and three countries agreed on the filling of the GERD.

Egyptian local media quoted the Office of President al Sisi that Egypt has reached an agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan over the filling and operations of the dam.

Almost 10 years of negotiations have gone between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt over Ethiopia's construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) but without agreement.

Egypt was calling for confirmation from the Ethiopian government after recent satellite images from the European Space Agency showed water filling the reservoir behind the dam.

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