Why is Egypt worried about Ethiopia’s dam on the Nile?
In the northern Ethiopian highlands, 85% of the Nile’s water flows from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd).
It is Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam project, located 19 miles (30 km) south of the Sudanese border. Over a mile long and 145 meters high, it is one of the tallest structures in the world. 60% of Ethiopia’s population currently lacks access to electricity due to the dam.
With this project, Ethiopia’s electricity output will be doubled, businesses will have constant electricity supplies, and development will be boosted.
It could also provide electricity to neighbouring countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Nearly all of Egypt’s fresh water comes from the River Nile, which has a population of 107 million.
Households and agriculture rely on it – especially cotton farming, which uses a lot of water.
Egypt’s own hydroelectric power plant, the Aswan High Dam, also uses Nile water to fill Lake Nasser.
With a population of 48 million, Sudan is also heavily dependent on Nile water. In the future, both countries wonder if Ethiopia will allow enough water to flow downstream to them. Because Egypt is a country on the Nile, its response to the dam has been limited.