Ethiopia’s Minister of Water Irrigation and Energy, Dr. Seleshi Bekele, on Monday said his country’s ambitious hydroelectric dam on the River Nile is a blessing in disguise for downstream nations.“GERD is a guardian for downstream countries by reducing flood and increasing water during drought, but not a threat” according to the minister, who said that the level of rainfall in Ethiopia’s Highlands has increased these days.
“Those wrongly accusing Ethiopia should come to their senses and appreciate its useful investment not only for Ethiopia but also for the region” he claimed.
Ethiopia completed the second filling of the GERD last week despite unprecedented pressure, including from the European Union and the United States, to sign a binding agreement before the exercise.
The filling was completed faster than it had been anticipated due to the high volume of rain that Ethiopia received during its summer season.
Ethiopia finalized the second phase of the GERD filling last week, retaining over 13.9 billion cubic meters of water.
The GERD retained 4.5 billion cubic meters of water in the first filling last year.
It means that Ethiopia has so far about 18 billion cubic meters of water, which is not even half of the amount of water the downstream countries get per year.
Over 85 percent of the water of the Nile originates from the Ethiopian Highlands.