Ethiopia, Egypt Irrigation Ministers to announce Dam Consultancy Firm next week

The Egyptian and Ethiopian irrigation ministers will announce next week in Addis Ababa the consultancy firm which will carry out new water and environmental studies on the 74 billion cubic metre reservoir on the Nile’s largest tributary.

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi received on Wednesday an invitation from his Ethiopian counterpart to travel to Addis Ababa next week to announce one of two shortlisted consultancy firms.

The firm should be conducting impact studies on the Renaissance Dam based on the yearly consumption of water amounts of downstream countries (Egypt, Sudan), a statement by the Egyptian irrigation ministry highlighted.

The consultancy firm would also be expected to finish its studies within five months of its appointment, before March 2015, Khaled Wassef, spokesman for Egypt’s minister of water resources and irrigation previously told Ahram Online.

The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May 2013, when images of the dam’s construction stirred public anxiety about the possible effect on Egypt’s potable water supply.

However, Ethiopia maintains that Egypt’s water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project, which is being built on a tributary of the Blue Nile.

On March 23, Egypt signed a declaration of principles with the Nile basin countries Ethiopia and Sudan, where they agreed on broad guidelines over Ethiopia’s contested dam.

Ethiopia’s 6,000 megawatt dam, of which 40 percent is already complete, is set to be Africa’s largest and it is feared that it may negatively affect the Nile share of the downstream countries: Egypt and Sudan.

Source: Ahram Online

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