Ethiopia’s ambassador to Sudan, Mawtada Zoudi, announced on Wednesday that the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has passed 65% completion.
During an Iftar (Ramadan breakfast) feast in Sudan for news agencies and the local press, organized by the Ethiopian embassy, Zoudi added that “work in the dam is in full swing.”
“As you know, it is a very large project and we still have a lot to wait for, but the construction process is going well and has not stopped for a minute. So far we have completed more than 65% of the construction and very soon, maybe in less than a year, we will celebrate the completion of the GERD,” he explained.
Recently, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid announced the success of the mediation meeting regarding the GERD negotiations in Adis Ababa.
Abu Zeid tweeted saying, “Mediation meeting regarding the Renaissance Dam ended successfully in Adis Ababa”.
In 2011, Ethiopia started construction on the GERD over the Blue Nile River, one of the major sources of the water that forms the River Nile downstream. Ethiopians see it as is a great national project and a means of overcoming poverty. Egypt, however, fears the dam will affect its historic Nile water which it has had access to since the historic 1959 agreement with Sudan.
Egypt’s share of Nile water sits at 55.5 billion cubic meters, while Sudan’s quota is 18.5 billion cubic meters. This is in accordance with an agreement signed between the two downstream countries in 1959; Ethiopia is not part of this agreement.
Ethiopia has reassured Cairo that its water share will not be affected.
The dam is expected to reduce Egypt’s share of Nile waters, further limiting the country’s already scarce water resources.