The Maat Foundation for Peace and Development has prepared a study on the effects of the second filling of the Renaissance Dam on the Nile Basin countries, on the sidelines of the Foundation’s participation in the High Level Political Forum 2021.
The study indicated that there are risks to the Ethiopian dam on Egypt and Sudan, stressing that the construction of the Renaissance Dam as a development project has been welcomed by both Egypt and Sudan, given that each country has the right to develop its resources, but the condition is not to harm the interests of other countries, which is in accordance with international charters and laws. related to.
She added that accordingly, the three countries signed an agreement of principles in March 2015, as a sincere desire of Egypt and Sudan to support the Ethiopian project in the event that the water security of these countries is not compromised, and in a manner that does not cause any damage.
The study indicated that, after Ethiopia approached the completion of the construction of the dam, other intentions appeared different from the tripartite agreement, in a way that threatens the two downstream countries on several levels, especially with regard to Ethiopia’s refusal to sign a binding agreement on preserving Egypt and Sudan’s shares of water, as well as agreement on the rules for filling And the operation of the dam, which may cause unlimited disasters to the two downstream countries.
She added that there are many economic, social and security effects that may affect regional peace and security, and from them comes the impact of the Renaissance Dam on agriculture, so Egypt suffers from water poverty, far from the Renaissance Dam, as it receives annually its share specified in the 1959 agreement between it and Sudan at about 55.5 billion cubic meters, a percentage that has not changed despite the significant increase in the population, which led to Egypt’s water deficit of 22 billion cubic meters annually, which represents about 40% of its planned quota.
The per capita share in Egypt decreased to approximately 625 cubic meters annually of renewable fresh water after the population reached 100 million people in 2017, which is expected to increase, a drop below the water scarcity limit, which is estimated according to international indicators at about 1,000 cubic meters annually.
The study confirmed that the agricultural sector is one of the most important resources of the Egyptian economy, as it contributes to about 15% of the total GDP, and about 20% of exports. It also works in agriculture, 30% of the total Egyptian labor force, and about 60% of the population lives in the countryside. Egypt annually imports agricultural products to cover the population’s food needs by about 90 billion pounds annually, adding that, according to some studies, the Renaissance Dam will lead to a decrease in the area of agricultural land in Upper Egypt by 29.47%, and in the Delta by 23.03%.
More than 6 million people are employed in the agricultural sector, and only one billion cubic meters of Egypt’s water share will be reduced, affecting about 200,000 families. Therefore, in the case of Ethiopia’s unilateral filling, Egypt is expected to lose about 10 billion cubic meters, which means that about two million will be affected. Egyptian family.
In Sudan, the Renaissance Dam will prevent the Nile silt from reaching Sudanese lands, which threatens to deteriorate the quality of the soil of agricultural lands. The Renaissance Dam will also affect the effectiveness of the Merowe and Roseires dams, and thus reduce water flows to Sudanese agricultural lands, in addition to the presence of ponds and swamps that hinder the dam. farming process.
A food gap is expected, especially in light of the inflation in Sudan, which is expected to increase to 500%, and nearly 20 million people are at risk of being affected by this crisis and entering the risk of starvation.
Ethiopia’s actions in this regard conflict with international conventions related to the protection of the right to food, as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article No. 25, and impede the second goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to the complete eradication of hunger.