The International Panel of Experts on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam submitted its final report to the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Saturday, as reported earlier in this blog.
News items on Arabic language Egyptian media published after Saturday mid-night claim that the Experts’ report indicates problems with the dam design.
Read below extracts from four Egyptian outlets (translated by google and further edited)
[Please note that Egyptian media has a strong tendency to report what its readers wish to hear with regard to Nile.]
Sources who participated in the Expert’s committee of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam said that “the report contained four reservations and recommended more detailed studies by the Ethiopian government to prevent the negative effects of the dam and stressed that the dam would negatively affect the flow of the Nile”.
The sources added that the reservations are concerning the safety plug of the Renaissance dam and its social and economic impacts, on the poor in the areas of construction of the dam, in addition to reservations about its impact on the water resources of downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) and the lack of flow of river water to the two countries and also the lack of coordination among the three countries, for the management of the dam at the political level of the countries concerned.
The report stressed, according to the sources, the “need for coordination among the three countries to prevent the negative effects of on the storage capacity of the Renaissance dam, which is 74 billion cubic meters, and the plan to fill it in 4 years”.
The study required that the Ethiopian government should provide assurances regarding safety of the dam and to prevent collapse that threaten Sudan and Egypt.
The sources said that the Commission recorded concerns the Sudanese side on the devastating effects of and exposure to the sinking of the absence of the Ethiopian government’s commitment to provide the guarantees necessary for the operation in coordination between Egypt and Sudan, to the two countries regarding the risk of the collapse of the dam.
Sudanese sources informed al-Masri al-Youm that providing guarantees for the safety of the dam could deliver Sudanese approval of the dam, regardless issues concerning its impact on water quota.
Egypt Online said that the Committee recommended that the importance of “direct dialogue” between the governments of the three countries on the recommendations of the report and the results of audits of the work undertaken by the Commission as well as discuss the results of audits and technical notes made by the Committee as well as recommendations to be taken.
Though members of the Committee refused to disclose the contents of the report, the sources said that the report “even though it includes a consensus on many aspects, it also includes recommendations for further studies on some issues, considering that previous studies on the dam are inadequate”.
The Middle East news agency reported, quoting “informed sources in Khartoum”, that the Commission came to the “proposals” to settle the differences or errors in the design of the dam and explained that these proposals require amendments in design and Ethiopia agreed to the proposed amendments stated in the final report issued Saturday.
Egyptian members of the Tripartite Commission on the Renaissance Dam returned yesterday from Addis Ababa after participating in the final session to evaluate the famous Renaissance Dam.
Informed sources at the Ministry of Irrigation disclosed that the Egyptian experts, which includes Dr. Khaled Hussein, professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, and Dr. Sherif El Mohamady of the Nile water sector, met with the Minister of Irrigation to study the report of the Tripartite Commission, which studied the negative effects on Egypt.
The “Ethiopian side asked Egypt to postpone the release of the report of the tripartite committee for the second time in a row, (Ethiopia asked the report to be postponed last February and Egypt agreed), but this time Cairo rejected Ethiopia’s request”.
Source pointed out that an Israeli company will take over the electric power distribution from the Renaissance dam after its completion.
Member of Egypt’s National Committee to assess the Renaissance dam, Dr. Alaa al-Zawahri, said – in a statement – that the Tripatrite Commission report confirms that the danger on Egypt and Sudan by the dam, asserting that Ethiopia’s remarks that the dam will not harm Egypt is just talk.
Al-Zawahiri called for the need to accelerate the move and the express the anger of Egyptians, because studies show that Egypt will be exposed to significant risks as well as that Ethiopia has 13 dams, besides the Renaissance dam, it also has 13 rivers other than the Blue Nile, noting that Ethiopia has exercised a kind of deception toward Cairo.
[Tahrir news (Arabic)]
It was learnt that the final report confirms the existence of errors in the design of the dam and that the Committee recommended amendments in the current design and that Ethiopia had already agreed to the proposed amendments, as recommended in the report to change and modify the dimensions and size of the dam before embarking on implementation and set a timetable shows revenues River Nile over the past 60 years to come.
The report included as well, the need for business studies supplementary to ensure the safety and increase the rate of safety of the dam to remove the concerns of the Sudanese possibility of its collapse as well as agreeing not announced details of the final report on public opinion in the three countries only after giving enough time for governments to discuss and study the report, the Committee stressed the the importance of direct dialogue on the findings and recommendations and observations made by the Technical Committee.
On the other hand, the current Shura Council (the only legislative body functional at time in Egypt) is to convene an emergency session on June 10 to discuss the crisis of Ethiopian dam, in the presence of the President of the Republic.
Diplomatic sources confirmed that the final report of the Tripartite Commission will be presented to the Supreme Committee for water over the next two days.
The sources denied claims that the report indicates that the Renaissance Dam reduces Egypt’s share of Nile water by 30%.