20 October 2013

Renaissance Dam talks resume between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt

This week government representatives from Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt will gather to discuss findings of the International Panel of Experts (IPE) report that has still not been disclosed to the public. Although I understand the sensitivity of needed negotiations, I expected more candor on the subject of recommendations from the report. This process is anything but transparent and this has been a huge disappointment to witness.

Somethings I would like to know, (I am not the only one who feels this way gaging by how many people have contacted me to ask if I have access to this report): 

  • Why the delay in releasing the findings? 
  • Can't we all be a part of the decision and verification of the diligence used by these "experts"? 
  • Is the world at large really okay with high level governmental officials, who are not scientists although some are engineers (engineers and scientists do not often speak the same language, and often do not even get along personally due to very different ways of understanding the world around them), making decisions based on scientific findings or engineering structural integrity? It seems that there is an attitude of ownership, or at least privilege, when it comes to resources related to the Blue Nile River... Why isn't the international community at large paying attention to this situation as keenly as they do, say, the Mekong River?
  • What is classified about changes to the river system that impact several communities and several hundreds of thousands of people?
  • Why is it that governments can hold power over science-based information?

Hopefully after this next round of discussions, citizens of all affected countries, as well as interested parties (present company included) from outside the countries can view what the report found and suggests for a sustainable and safe project. Let's go guys! Negotiate and release the report!

Egypt: Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt Discussions On Renaissance Dam Panel Report Next Week

Photo: Addis Fortune
Hydropower projects like the Tekeze Dam are expected to go a long way in providing in the country’s energy needs.
Ethiopia's Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has said Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt will hold discussions next week on ways to implement the recommendations put forth by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) who submitted a report on the impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Fekahmed Negash, Boundary and Tran-boundary Rivers Affairs Director at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said the meeting is scheduled to take place, probably in Khartoum, on October 22, 2013 between officials of the three countries. The meeting will be the first since the international experts submitted their findings to the three governments in June this year. Two previously planned meetings had to be cancelled. Although the content of the report has not been made public, Ethiopia has expressed its readiness to implement the recommendations.
The Boundary and Tran-boundary Rivers Affairs Director said the panel recommended for further studies to analyze the impact of the dam on Egypt's water use and future Nile dams to be built by Sudan and Ethiopia. In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Hailemariam, responding to questions about possible structural measures needed to stabilize the foundations, said the Panel of Experts had studied the issue carefully and had unequivocally confirmed that the dam was safe.

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