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With nearly half of world’s population, over 3 million people living in poverty, whilst more than 1 million people live in extreme poverty, the importance of water to the people is of critical importance especially in a very dry region.
Of concern right now is the construction of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile. The river Nile, is the longest river in Africa and in the world stretching approximately. 6,670 km in distance from the start in Burundi in Central Africa, south east of the equator and flowing northward through Africa, finally flowing through Egypt draining into the Mediterranean Sea.
The river Nile, which flows through several nations including Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Burundi, is a great river of historical, religious, economic and social importance in Africa, as a source of civilisation, survival through food like fish and crops, economic boost as a source of employment and now a source of income generation through the export of electricity whilst growing an economy through power supply, thereby being an economic boost to all as it generates security and stability if managed well.
Ethiopian, Egyptian,and Sudanese leadership have signed an agreement which formalises and finalises the agreement on two of the much acclaimed Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the flow of the great river Nile, allegedly a potential source of conflict.
Although its already said that 50 percent of the dam’s construction has been completed, the joint approach to regional water supplies, and electricity power generation through credible technical studies on the Grand Renaissance Dam project is expected to halt conflict.
The studies will last between six and 15 months long covering amongst other things, Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity generation and impact on downstream countries and communities when the dam’s reservoir is eventually filled.
Some quarters have expressed concerns at the risk of conflict arising from the projects completion through, having a major impact on the water flow to other countries , for example, Egypt, a nation that places great reliance on the Nile as an almost wholly depends on the river as a source of Domestic, Agricultural and Industrial water use, was keen to obtain assurances,
Progressive minded observers, argue that all nations involved, have great economic and social interests in the river and thus, cannot risk sabotaging the project through conflict, and that the latest agreement over the companies that will conduct an analysis of the potential impact is good as all nation’s are looked into.
If and when the Grand Renaissance Dam project is finally completed, Ethiopia aims to eventually attain the status of the African continent’s largest electric power exporter.. By Sibusiso Ngwenya
photo-cnn-The Grand Renaissance Dam is under construction on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia.