Juba, South Sudan,
June 14, 2021 – In an ironic and diplomatic twist of events, Egypt has accused Ethiopia of pumping mud and contaminating drinking water stations in Sudan through the continuous filling of the controversial Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The incident came to the fore last week after Egypt claimed that Ethiopia had spoiled the Sudanese drinking water stations by retrieving muddy water without notice to the downstream countries. The development also came as tension over the filling of the dam is escalating unabated.
Mohamed Abdel-Ati, the Egyptian Minister of Irrigation was quoted by a local media outlet to have said “Ethiopia released a quantity of muddy water in the past November without informing the downstream countries, which caused an increase of mud in the drinking water stations in Sudan.”
Egypt, which has been wooing Sudan to back its stance on blocking Ethiopia from constructing the dam, says the continuous filling of the dam without coordinating with the downstream countries resulted in a state of drought and floods.
Abdel-Ati still insists that Egypt and Sudan would continue to oppose Ethiopia’s unilateral filling and operation of the dam.
The Sudan Transitional Government had not reacted to the concern by the time of writing this article. However, the two countries last week said they would persuade Ethiopia to sign a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD.
The Ethiopian government commenced the construction of the $5 billion-worth dam in 2011. When completed, the project will enable Ethiopia to generate 6,350 megawatts of electricity.
Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan fear the dam would reduce the flow of water downstream, while Ethiopia maintains that the dam is vital for its national development.