Finally – A Team of Experts to Evaluate Impact of Massive Ethiopian Dam

Grand Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia, Nile River, Nile River Basin, environmental impact, environmental destruction, hydroelectricityThe future of the Nile River still hangs in the balance, but at least a team of experts are committed to evaluating the potential impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.

The politics surrounding Ethiopia’s Grand Millennium Renaissance Dam changes only slightly more frequently than the project’s name, and we are excited to bring you one of the most positive updates since the saga began. Ethiopia has being posturing against Egypt’s historical monopoly of the Nile river’s waters for months, even though the country lacks the funds to see a potentially environmentally destructive 5,250MW dam to completion without help.

Loyal Ethiopians unaffected by urging from UNESCO to halt another dam contract awarded to a similar consortium of cronies accused us time and again of turning a blind eye to their distressing energy poverty. But that was never the case. We have always advocated for a fair distribution of the Nile river, as well as for a thorough investigation of the project’s potential environmental impact. We may finally have received our wish, but it’s probably not as altruistic as it seems.

Grand Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia, Nile River, Nile River Basin, environmental impact, environmental destruction, hydroelectricityEgypt’s Nile Basin tour

According to our friends at Almasry Alyoum, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr will take a tour of six Nile Basic countries in the second week of January.

Nile Basin Coordinator Maddy Amer said in a statement that solving the Nile river issue is top priority for the country that is still struggling under the weight of political mayhem.

Amer added that while Egypt has not changed its position on the Nile dam, it won’t accept an Ethiopian solution that jeopardizes either Sudan or Egypt, and that Ethiopia has to cooperate if it hopes to receive any funding.

If the dispute over Nile waters has not been settled, then aid groups will be unwilling to put forth financial assistance.

Impartial assessment

But the most promising development we’ve seen is the commitment from Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Khartoum to finally prepare a technical report that evaluates the potential impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.

6 experts – two from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan – will choose an additional 4 international experts to help them conduct a year long study that is expected to start as soon as next month.

The team of 10 experts should be able to produce an impartial scientific document which lays out exactly what is at stake if the dam is allowed to continue – without favoring any one country.

One hopes that up and downstream ecological consequences will be considered, as well as the potential effects that climate change will have in the future.

Ethiopia needs power, everyone needs water, but there must be a way to accomplish this without hasty planning. This recent news gives us hope that finally this dispute is taking a constructive, diplomatic turn.

:: Almasry Alyoum

Read more on the Nile River:
American Elections Are Bad for the Nile Delta
In The Face of Nilelessness, Egyptians Protest Water Shortages
Nile Water Kills 17,000 Children Each Year

map via University of Bergen

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40 thoughts on “Finally – A Team of Experts to Evaluate Impact of Massive Ethiopian Dam”

  1. feker says:

    let me tell you one thing straight for those of you who think that we ,ethiopeans have no right on abbay (nile)we are the majour contributor of nile and you tell us you donot have a right ,be logical who are you and which ground is g[ves you this right ,please donot tell me that we are using the nile before any one started to use it ,so what does it give you the right to block us not to use it .if you are really wanted to help your self and your people i will suggest that cooperate with us because whether you like it or not we are going to build it that is the natural right that God gave us .all of you have to rememmber one thing we ethiopeans never and ever in our history sleep for injustice, you can check this .for our friends we give them a warm wellcame that we are on the right track to change our history and we will never forget your help. for fellow ethiopeans my message is simple we were powerful and we will be powerful if we cooperate
    God bless ethiopea

  2. Heran Nebrom says:

    Our government is very sure (because possible EIA study was already done together with the design before the launch of the dam) that this experts will not find any possible negative impact.

    However, every body should know that no amount of campaigns against Ethiopia`s development activities can halt from doing our business!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Why don`t you leave us alone? Don`t mess up with Mammi Ethiopia.
    It seems these people suffer from psychiatric problem, an incredibly dangerous mental state of mind!

  3. Asmatad says:

    The team of experts is 6. It is 2 from Egypt, 2 from Sudan and 2 from Ethiopia (and some other independent experts). We could say, it is 4 to 2. It is not fair. Taking in to consideration the behaviors of Egyptians, I do not expect any positive result from this impact evaluation. Whatever the team of experts come through, Ethiopia should not return back.


    What kind of “Hard work”??? A chaotic individuals are also hard workers but disgusting ones!

    One of commenters above said:

    “Racists in America used to believe that God meant for whites to own black slaves.” They have been working hard to make their dreams come true….

    But please be good and fair because good is just good and even more than that.

    bye good luck

  5. Lemessaa says:

    DO you start to study the benefit after collecting our money????
    No surprise with this gangster group!!!

    1. This is absurd. Of course we don’t receive any money from environmental destruction in Ethiopia, or anywhere else for that matter. We earn our money through hard work – just like you do.

  6. fasil says:

    The dam is so dam-good tools, to dam poverty!!!Beside it is Facade ornament to illustrate approaching prosperity. With a right intelligence no one will mess with fundamental necessity…

  7. Mulugeta A. says:

    This article is blatantly biased in favor of Egypt. Moreover it is flawed. The premise that Ethiopia – which contributes 85% of the waters of the Nile – needs the imprimatur of Egypt and Sudan is to say the least anachronistic. Post-Mubarak Egypt has to come to terms with the fact that the lame-duck Ethiopia of yesteryear is no more there. Today’s Ethiopia is a power to be reckoned with.
    Ethiopia is not seeking funding from international financial institutions. It is pinning its hope on its people and its own resources. Ethiopians have pledged to complete GERD come hell or high water. Egypt’s best bet, under the circumstances, would be to co operate with Ethiopia rather than take recourse to saber-rattling.

  8. tsegay says:

    no matter weather we get any fund or not we Ethiopians promise to build this grand dam… we r building this not only for economical benefit or political scheme… but we r building this for our national pride. and we never expect any funds from others in this case.

  9. jonas says:

    As an Ethiopian when I heard about the project I was
    pleased and promised myself to do my share that was to
    to buy a bond. which I did. After I read your article
    I decided to do more and I bought $ 3000.00 worth of
    bonds. between my friends and I we bought $10,000.00
    worth bonds just last week. Don’t worry about the funding. We Ethiopi
    an are united in this and YES WE CAN , yes we can built

  10. T. Alema says:

    You write “I honestly can’t see how anyone can accuse me of echoing anything other than what is fair and just and environmentally sensible.” If you can’t see that, it might be because you are deaf and blind to Ethiopian casues.

    Racists in America used to believe that god meant for whites to own black slaves. Most Israeli’s still beleive that god reserved Plestine for Jews and and they don’t know why Palestinians and thier supporters are so upset. You too are so full of yourself, you never allow yourself to pause and ask what if you are wrong.

  11. yohannes says:

    we have not to sign anything that bind us, the ethiopian government likes this word and have failed with eritrea.
    the study is oky, but it should not stop the construction of the Dam.
    in this case all ethiopians are united.
    who protest againest the Nuser Dam which is usles and ful of silt.
    there for the ethiopian expertes are always generouse , and this meeting should not be done without garantong the construction of the Dam.
    becarful ethiopians , you have to much enemies inside and outside, do what you choose is coorect without be conditioned by Sudan or Egypt, after all oll of them are forgieners, comeing from another world.


    “No matter how poor we are, in the Ethiopian traditions of resolve, the Ethiopian people will pay any sacrifice; the country will overcome all obstacles to complete Africa’s largest hydro-power plant” from PM Meles Zenawi`s speech during the launch. “I have no doubt they will, with one voice, say: ‘Build the Dam!” the premier added.

    Ethiopia has no choice, but use her natural resources including the nature given “Tikur Abay”/Blue Nile; she will do the bussiness through what ever means available to our government at any cost, including myself. No body can stop the very unstopable mullti-billion project including several other multi-billion projects!!!
    No body should have illusion on that!!! We build or die!!!

    Our doors are open for honest engagement; the only reasonably plausible for mutual benefit.

    For those who have phobia towards round-table discussion:
    No history tells anyone can defeat my beloved Ethiopia. No way!!!


    FYI; we have defeated “the greed Egypt” twice in history and Egyptians know this.

    As my fellow (commenter above) and others said; this is our time and we BUILD or DIE. I should repeat “NO ONE SHOULD HAVE ILLUSION ON THAT!!!”

  13. Thag says:

    Dear Ethiopians and Lovers here/abroad:
    I am a patriot of >80 years old. I just read ur responses. It is gratifying to see such excellent enthusiasm and ‘am sure evil concerns like that of Tafline Laylin are generating more bond saling and Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam will be completed within few years to come without any external fund!! Ethiopia EtaBetsh Edowiha HabeEgzabiher!!

  14. Agamino says:

    Mr. Writer,

    I may not be a well articulated writer but i have no problem listing some facts in response to your unfounded claim.

    On your hope about the “6+4 experts”, don’t waste your time! it is just a false hope for gullible individuals!
    No matter what your “6+4 experts” result might be, we have no reason to go back! We the poor Ethiopian people are ON it! Don’t forget that we are 90 plus million.
    The grand renaissance Dam is being built 24/7!

    Our leaders may use some diplomatic words on TV/media,but the fact is we the Ethiopian people are sick and tiered of all evil things that has been done on us.So we are ready to pay any price that our country/future ask us to sacrifice!

    Its our time!!

  15. Dan says:

    Keep on typing this kind of trash article it will motivate Ethiopians to buy more Bonds…..Thank you 🙂

    Addis Ababa, February 2 (WIC) – The Development Bank of Ethiopia announced selling more than the projected amount of Grand Renaissance Dam bonds in the last two quarters, according to the bank’s six month report.

    The bank has estimated selling 600 million birr worth of bonds for the Grand Renaissance Dam in the last six months but actual sales exceeded one billion birr.

    The Development bank aims to sale 1.5 billion birr worth of Grand Renaissance Dam bonds in the current fiscal year.

  16. AKT_Ethiopian says:

    To : Taflin Laylin (the writer)

    All is said by my fellow readers. But, I would like to advise you to change the name to “Hell’s Prophet”


  17. sebeya says:

    i wish you guys if would you be able to read the ethiopian people feeling. we will build the dam, we will be out of any help from the dam hidden anti poor people like you guys. you need us always to see you hands. it will not be very far to see ethiopa as india chinan and brazil. we will give a dam shit for the bulshit areb. if they need to fight we are ready to show them who we are. we donot care we is going on in their country right now it is their head ache

  18. Maza says:

    Mr. Writer,
    As many of the commentators put it you have it all wrong. Please note that gone are the days Egypt could singlehandedely decide who gets what amount of the Nile water to which it contributes nothing. We don’t need to remind you that neither Ethiopia nor the other upper riparian countries are parties to the so called 1929 /59 agreements. Besies, if you have a clue, the construction of the dam will not be stopped for a second while the consultation meeting is going on. Please also be reminded that Ethiopia is no more the one you identify with famine and internal unrest.

  19. observer says:

    How dare you! Ethiopians will not need your aid to build the dams. They will do it by themselves and they are doing it.

  20. abysinian fox says:

    we are just too tired of these self appointed prophets and meddlers.It is sickening to see their condescending articles and their utter disregard for others sovereignty and independence. In western culture adults seem to respect their children choices and independence. what is saddening is when it comes to african and other poor nations the attitude to these western elitists a whole different issue.It is especially sick when they advocate to use this scanty humanitarian aid they give as a tool of manipulation. So ms Tafline please save us from your crocodile tears.I would have more respect for you if you limit your ego to your environment.So advocate for co2 reduction and recycle your staff. Leave our environment for us. We will take care of it.We will build the goddamn dam cause it is safe for our environment.AS for egypt its predictable opposition to our dams is simple greed. it wants all the pie for itself. But unfortunately they got to learn to share cause there is another lion in the neighborhood.

  21. tat says:

    Mr. writer how did you reach to such grandiose conclusion about the negative environmental impact of the Ethiopian great dam? this it self shows that your writing has a motive intended to demoralize the Ethiopians in particular and the black Africans in general. Such behavior is becoming minority in our present Africa as we see it today. What surprised me the most is your follow up comments that even mock the readers so unbelievably. My advise to you is stay away as far as the river Nile travels.

  22. Solomon says:

    Ethiopia is determined to build this dam and complete it on time. This project is very critical to the future of Ethiopia. Not only it will help the industrial development by addressing the severe shortage of power, it will also bring in much needed hard currency from export of excess power to all the neighboring countries.

    The Ethiopian goverment knew from the beginning it will be next to impossible to find foreign financing due to Egyptian opposition. That is the reason why it chose to mobilize the Ethiopian people to raise capital. Ethiopians are buying the bonds and billions have been raised. Local companies will be providing most of the key inputs from cement, steel to the electrical/mechanical parts which will help build the local capacity and expertise to undertake other power projects fully by Ethiopians in the future. Foreign import will be minimal.

    This project has unified Ethiopians from all walks of life. Nobody can stop it.

  23. Okello, this is one of the most reasonable responses I’ve heard on the issue. Thanks.

  24. Okello says:

    Hey Tafline, you couldn’t be more wrong on this issue. A lot of wealthy nations fail to accomplish anything, while a lot others do a lot with little. Our determination, desire, and recognition of the need to develop our resources are the the biggest funds we have. Therefore, I hope you won’t lose sleep over our lack of fund.On the other hand, as much as we desire to develop and utilize Nile for ourselves we also recognize it is very important for Egypt and other reparian nations. If this recognition is reciprocated and managed in a responsible manner, it will be used in a way that would benefit all involved. However, if bullying is the only strategy one utilizes to secure this resource, it is not going to work. It is a dynamic situation…politics, power, economics etc. I am sure the Egyptians understand that. River is just too mighty a force to control with force.

  25. Observer says:

    As usaual Egypt will be trying to swich the decision of ‘international consultant’ towards its benefit.

    Basically, the current arrangment of 2 from ethiopia, egypt and Sudan is not fair deal. Authomatically, it is giving four from one side against the construction (Egypt and Sudan) and two from Ethiopi – Just at the begining it is not fair. We are not sure how the international goup will be professional and neutral for decision making.

    Another point: South Sudan should be member of this treaty as it is part of the old threaty of veto power to Egypt and Sudan.

    so i am not sure if Ethiopia agrees on this type of arrangment

  26. eastAFRICAethiopia says:

    A quote from your article “…the country lacks the funds…”

    Ignorance is bliss, Just look at the video clip on YouTube called
    “Ethiopian Grand Millennium Dam Project Materials Arrive @ Djibouti Port”.

    Foreign funding can be very useful but not critical. We are capable of building the dam regardless.

  27. eastAFRICAethiopia says:

    What is fair and just for you (Egypt) is using insane amount of water on your golf course and water intensive crop such as rice for export, while east Africans suffer from water shortage and power shortage.

  28. I honestly can’t see how anyone can accuse me of echoing anything other than what is fair and just and environmentally sensible. Every time I cover this story our readers “attack” me personally… is that really necessary?

  29. Ibrahim A. Husseinn says:

    To : Taflin Laylin (the writer)

    You have echoed what the Egyptian politician said ” …. Egypt has not changed its position on the Nile dam it won’t accept ….that jeopardizes either Sudan or Egypt, ….”.

    Let it be known that Egyptian politicians cannot speak on behalf of the Sudan , it is a sovereign country . They have tricked us once and manipulated our leaders then in the so called “1959 treaty of Full Utilization of the Nile” – for which the rest riparian counties were not the party. All the Sudanese people are for a “fair and equitable distribution of the Nile River to all the riparian countries” – and not for the selfish zero sum game favoring only one country -Egypt. Stop echoing as if the Sudan is negating the rights of our brothers and sisters in East Africa who share us the waters.

    Sheik Ibrahim A. Hussein

  30. T. Okiwara says:

    Dear writer,
    I am most wondered to note the motive of so-called ” Advocacy” “Environmentalists” , etc groups like yours .
    What one notes from their consistent behavior is ill intent agenda towards developing countries. You call yourself for example as ” Green Prophet” , but their are no times that you appearcite when the African develop or Go Green . Were there ? People in the academicia and public do speak a lot the material gain of the Policy makers and who funding. At times of liberty and enlightenment where every country and its citizen are safeguarding their national interests your ill fated agenda leads you no where. The Africans’ utilization of their natural wealth like the Nile river is not a question for debate it is their right. You assuming as if their destiny is decided by outsiders is totally out of ignorance and/or hidden agenda.
    Dr. Toshido Okiwara
    Tokyo, Japan

  31. JTR says:

    It is only because the human population is growing that there is a need for dams anywhere in the World. If women were allowed to decide how many children they want, most would choose no more than 1, 2 or 3. Then the population would stabilize and people could live peacefully with each other and have all the resources they need from their natural environment. Technology is good, but too much of any good thing turns it bad.

  32. Mohammed Husni says:

    Another bunch of lies from the European white trash devils with their interests in Egypt and the Suez Canal, trying to control international trade and resources around the world. When your American and European economies collapse, only then will Africa live in peace and prosperity.


  33. Hiwot says:

    No matter how you try to put us down, we will do what we are set out to do, which is using OUR OWN resources. I understand your concern. You have to have us to stay as poor as we could get, so we continue to beg for food from you. You want to feel better about yourself for aiding and rescuing “..The poor savages of Africa, who could never amount to help themselves…” You want our rivers and Valleys to stay the same and untouched for your enjoyment and entertainment, so you could admire and take a picture of “earth’s natural beauty”. You want the people, who live in some of these Valleys to live the same way their ancestors have been living, because you want them as your study subjects about “Pre Historic” humans. You want the tribes, who live on the banks of some of these rivers, who walk around naked, never to be clothed so you keep placing their glossy pictures on your National Geographic explorer magazines for the amusement of your readers. Too bad! A time, where you used to enforce and impose your will on Africans and Africa with your guns has long gone. We own our resources and we decide what to do with it. Trust me. Your noise makes very, very little difference, if any…

  34. Hamid Ismail says:

    What do expect to the racist website of International River ” Devilish Prophet” ? Always same down playing Africans.

    Hell to them !

    My brothers and Sisters in : Ethiopians, Kenyans, Eritreans, Rwandans , Tanzanians , Congolese , Burundians Keep on your tapping your Allah given natural wealth in a fair equitable manner, and show this racists what humane people we are .


  35. So far as environmental impact is concerened it is proven to be minimal and infact, the scheme will reduce evapotranspiration and increase the volume of water to the end user.(Logic)

    The only thing I suggest to the parties will be to be positive and avoid insanity .The Ethiopians have great tradiation of equity, fair play and fear of wrong doing. To this day, they have shown greater degree of care and openess. The only thing needed right now is a political will from part of Cairo and Khartoum .End

  36. Gedda says:

    It is not in the hope of getting aid that we are entering to such arrangement, it is only to justify the already just deed for those who purposely try to elongate our suffering with unfounded selfish motives. Let it be known we are awake that we have already started to shift the paradigm of our thinking that we can do mega projects even without Aid, though it might be time taking and burdening.

    Better to think in real terms than try to manipulate with relative power of influence which is always known to shift with time.


  37. Getnet says:

    Let me say one thing first the future of Nile doesn’t hang in the balance. We, Ethiopians, are building the dam; the truth about the dam is it will not affect Egypt or Sudan but it will save a lot of water from evaporation in Aswan. We agreed to the tri-party committee for the study of the possible impact of the dam is because Ethiopia is 100% confident that it will not harm any one. Rather it will help some Sudanese places from flooding year to year and save water from evaporation in the Sahara. So get your facts right.

  38. You’ve got it all wrong Mike, but I’m not going to change your mind, am I? 🙂

  39. Mike says:

    I read your condenscending remarks on this issue from time to time. Your contempt for blacks is disturbingly ugly. Arabs were dirt poor before the discovery of oil. We believe we can prosper by taming our natural and human resources. FYI, we will develop our resources without any outside help.

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