Ethiopia announced that it will start implementing the second filling of the Renaissance Dam next July 22, despite objections from Egypt and Sudan.
The Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, said yesterday that his country will start implementing the second filling of the dam next July 22, and that it is in a race against time to complete some engineering work in the 13 gates before the next storage, adding that work will be done to raise the middle passage to a height of 573. meters instead of 595 meters.
The Ethiopian minister said that Egypt will not be harmed by the second filling of its success in storing 130 billion cubic meters of water behind the High Dam, noting that the Renaissance Dam is scheduled to be completed in 2023, and the first two turbines to generate power can be operated in August.
But the question: Is Ethiopia’s announcement not to raise the middle passage of the dam to 595 meters as planned, and its failure to implement the second filling in full, or storing 13.5 billion cubic meters, the beginning of a retreat or a maneuver?
Dr. Mohamed Nasr Allam, the former Egyptian Minister of Irrigation, told Al Arabiya.net that the decision is not surprising, and Ethiopia’s retraction from completing the second filling comes – according to his perception – as an attempt to avoid confrontation with Egypt and Sudan, adding that raising the corridor to 565 is suitable to operate the low turbines.
He adds that Ethiopia will not completely back down from implementing the dam or storing the second filling, but it is waiting to prepare the atmosphere for that, which requires Egypt and Sudan to be vigilant and attentive and monitor what is happening at the dam.
Egyptian expert Abbas Sharaki says that although Ethiopia has failed to complete the engineering work to store 13.5 billion cubic meters, it may be able to store no more than 4 billion meters, and this quantity can be stored easily during the first three weeks of July, and 10 billion meters. cubic meters per year over the coming years.
He added to “Al Arabiya.net” that recent satellite images at the dam reveal that the stockpile did not exceed 5 billion cubic meters, advising Sudan to empty quantities of the Roseires Dam water after confirming the limited storage this year to absorb the water coming from the flood season.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister had recently announced Ethiopia’s intention to build a number of dams in different regions of the country, while Egypt responded to that and through the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman, saying that this statement once again reveals Ethiopia’s bad faith and its dealings with the Nile River and other international rivers that it shares. With neighboring countries as if they were internal rivers subject to their sovereignty and harnessed to serve their interests.
Previously, Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, stressed that an agreement must be reached before the second filling of the Ethiopian dam, and if this filling takes place, this predicts tension and repercussions that we are trying to avoid because it will lead to tension in the region.
He stated that the dam crisis may destabilize East Africa and the Horn of Africa, which we seek to avoid, stressing that Egypt will not compromise and will not accept harm, and the determination of the damage is done through the relevant agencies in the Ministry of Irrigation.
He said that Egypt monitors the developments of the dam every hour, and the possibilities of the quantities of water that fall every year to get to know the results that may occur.
It is noteworthy that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had confirmed, during contacts and discussions with world leaders, that Egypt adheres to its water rights by reaching a fair and binding legal agreement that guarantees clear rules for the process of filling and operating the dam.