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Impacts Assessment of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and It's implications on the Nile Basin Initiative

With this topic, I tried to look current arguments set by the Egyptian government about impacts of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam construction and further tried to asses its effects on the NBI.

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Impacts Assessment of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and It's implications on the Nile Basin Initiative

  1. 1. Impacts Assessment of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and It's implications on the Nile Basin Initiative By: Biniyam Sishah
  2. 2. Back Ground • River : Nile • Length = 6,650 km • Basin area = 3.4E6 km2 [1/10th of continent] • Average flow = 2,830 m3 /s 2% of Amazon 15% of the Mississippi • Main Tributaries:  White Nile: 805 km and shares 15% of total flow  Blue Nile: 1460 miles and shares 85 % of total flow • The two major Nile’s meet at Khartoum, Sudan • Nile riparian Countries:
  3. 3. • During Wet periods on July and August blue Nile contributes 70%, the Atbara 20% and white Nile 10%. • In dry periods early of may almost all the flow comes from white Nile • Lake Nasser has huge storage capacity of nearly168 Km3 in wet season, but evaporates 10% of its volume every year. • Nile for Egypt is the Source of food and transport • Before the completion of the Aswan High Dam, the large quantities of silt washed down from the rich highlands of Ethiopia were deposited by the floodwaters in Egypt, where the fertility of the riverine lands was maintained over the centuries, despite intensive cultivation. Without the Nile there wouldn’t have been any Egypt
  4. 4. Political Conflicts over the Nile Intensified during the colonial era when England tried to increase agricultural productivity in the delta. : 1902: King of Ethiopia Agreed to consult British on any planned project on the blue Nile 1929: Exclusive agreement between Egypt and Sudan 48Mm3 and all dry season flow to Egypt, 4Mm3 to Sudan No-one knew how much of the water was actually coming form Ethiopia. 1959: Exclusive agreement between Egypt and Sudan 55.5Mm3 & all dry season flow to Egypt, 18.5Mm3 for Sudan Construction of Aswan, Roseires, Khashm Al-girba Dams were also agreed up on 99% Ethiopia's response was engaging in plans to launch major projects on the blue Nile. No riparian countries were notified in all cases
  5. 5. 1966: Helsinki agreement of equitable share was proposed Ethiopia rejected the proposal 1970’s:Egypts plan to construct a canal that diverts 10% of the Nile’s water 1974:The Great Famine of Ethiopia was a rigging bell for change 1999:Nile Basin Initiative was Established to address all riparian countries
  6. 6. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Is a partnership among the Nile riparian states Main Objectives:  Developing a sustainable and equitable win-win water gain policy and in doing so promoting economic integration NILE BASIN INITIATIVE STRUCTURE Nile Council of Ministers [NILE-COM] Nile Technical Advisory Committee [NILE- TAC] The Nile Secretariat [NILE-SEC] Eastern Nile subsidiary Action program Team[ENSAPT] Nile Equatorial Lakes Council of Minsters [NELCOM] Nile Equatorial Lakes Technical Advisory Committee [NELTAC] Eastern Nile council of Minsters [ENCOM] Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office [ENTRO] Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program CU[NELSAP-CU] Strategic Planning and Management Department Water Resources Management Department Finance and Administration Department
  7. 7. 2010: Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania signed a cooperative framework agreement seeking more water share. Establishment and Confidence building Institutional Strengthening 2011 :construction of the Great r Renaissance dam of Ethiopia was announced : Consolidation and Delivering Institutional Framework: 1999 2008 2012 2016 Egypt and Sudan Rejected the proposal and construction plan NBI was conceived as a transitional institution until the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) negotiations were finalized and a permanent institution is created.
  8. 8. The Great Renaissance Dam of Ethiopia Purpose = Only Hydro-electric production Storage = 70 Mm3 [twice the size of lake Tana] Power production = 6000 Mw of Energy Total cost = $5Billion [10% of Ethiopian gross product] = most of it covered by Ethiopia After completion Sell energy to eastern African countries  cover most of the countries power demand Positive impacts proposed by Ethiopia Reduce evaporation from lake Nasser Increases water flow downstream Source of hydroelectric power for Eastern Africa Reduces flood risk downstream Reduces siltation downstream If Ethiopia cannot use its elevation and seasonal rains for Hydro-electric power and irrigation, what is it to do?
  9. 9. Negative Impacts raised by Egypt and Sudan  What will happen while reservoir is filling? 25% flow reduction for 3 years or more is expected?  When water fails in the Ethiopian highlands what will happen?  What if Ethiopia starts using the Dam for water consumption purposes  Impact of climate change on the Nile river By 2020, 75 -250 million people can be exposed to increased water stress  How will the Nile impact due to population growth after 20 years?? It is estimated: both nations will surpass 100 million and population of the whole basin will collectively reach 600 million. The Grand renaissance dam poses a question as basic as water itself:
  10. 10. What Should NBI learn from predecessor Initiatives Previously active initiatives on the Nile basin:  Hydromet project 1967  Undugu from 1983 to 1992  Technical Cooperation Committee for the Promotion of Development and Environmental Protection of the Basin (TECCONILE) in 1993 Why they fail to succeed lack of inclusivity Did not anchor the cooperation effort in a comprehensive institutional setting and within the ambit of a Shared Vision What needs to be done now?  Need to strengthen cooperation b/n riparian nations and ties with other experienced organizations working in the essence of Integrated water resources Management. E.g. The European Water Framework Directives approach to Integrated River Basin management This is the 21st century, it should not be about who owns the Nile anymore, we need to promote equitable sharing of our trans-boundary water Resources and focus all attentions in eradicating poverty.

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