Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan sign final contracts on Nile dam studies

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed the final contracts for the long-awaited technical studies on the impact on downstream countries of a giant dam that Addis Ababa is building, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported.
The signing that took place in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Monday was made between French consultancy firms BRL and Artelia, as well as British law firm Corbett, which will carry out studies on the potential impact of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam on the flow of the Nile.

Water and irrigation ministries from the three countries attended the signing ceremony during the 12th session of a tripartite ministerial committee.

In a statement obtained by Ahram Online, the Tripartite National Committee (TNC) of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said the meeting "was conducted in a very friendly and warm environment and reflected the cooperation among the three countries and all in attendance expressed their support and appreciation for the efforts exerted by the three countries."

The giant hydroelectric dam project Ethiopia is building has been the source of contention between Cairo and Addis Ababa. Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming and drinking water, fears the dam would significantly diminish its share of the river's water.

The studies the French firms will conduct will include the modeling of water and hydroelectric resources as well as an assessment of the cross-border environmental, social and economic impact of the mega project and will take 11 months, Egypt’s Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said.

The studies were earlier carried out on the recommendation of a panel of "international experts" on the Grand Renaissance Dam...

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