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Ethiopia's mega-dam switched on

By EDITH MUTETHYA in Nairobi, Kenya | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-02-22 09:15

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (center) leaves the ceremony that marked the start of power generation at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba on Sunday. AMANUEL SILESHI/AFP

Ethiopia claims the dam is essential for its development and will give the downstream countries a leg up as well.

"The dam's electricity generation is a blessing for the downstream countries too. We want to export our pollution-free power to Europe through Sudan and Egypt," Ahmed said.

While the dam is expected to control Sudan's riverine floods, the country fears it could threaten safety of its own dams.

The three countries' efforts to come up with an official agreement on the filling and operation of the dam has yet to be successful.

In a statement published on Jan 20, Ahmed said the dam provides ample protection against devastating floods and the effects of water shortage during drought and dry periods in Sudan.

"It will help Sudanese water infrastructure to be operated optimally as they receive regulated flow," he said.

Ahmed added that Egypt will benefit from water conservation at the dam.

"It is time for our three countries of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to nurture the narrative toward building peace, cooperation, mutual coexistence and development of all our people without harming one another."

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