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Panic downriver as Ethiopia's mega dam hits first-year target

Ethiopia's controversial dam on the Nile River has reportedly already met its first-year filling target despite the ongoing disagreements with Egypt and Sudan over its impacts on countries further down the Nile.
A photo taken on March 31, 2015 shows the Grand Renaissance Dam under construction near the Sudanese-Ethiopia border. Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile in May 2013 to build the 6,000 megawatt dam, which will be Africa's largest when completed in 2017. The leaders of Egypt and Ethiopia promised on March 24 to boost cooperation on the Nile river and turn a page on a long-running row over Addis Ababa's controversial dam project. Egypt, heavily reliant for millennia on the Nile for agriculture and drinking

CAIRO — On July 21, the Ethiopian government announced the first-year target for filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has already been reached with 4.9 billion cubic meters estimated to have been stored, according to Ethiopian Water Minister Seleshi Bekele. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed explained that increased precipitation was responsible. Meanwhile, Sudan said water levels at al-Deim border station with Ethiopia had declined because the GERD’s gates were shut.

Ahmed tweeted, “I appreciate the mutual understanding with the Sudanese Prime Minister and the Egyptian President on continuing technical discussions on filling the Renaissance Dam.”

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