Ethiopian govt is prolonging GERD crisis for political reasons: Expert

An Egyptian water expert at Cairo University, Abbas Sharaqy accused the Ethiopian government of prolonging the dam crisis to divert the attention of Ethiopians from internal crises.

Sharaqy said in a post on his Facebook page, under the title “Ethiopia between Reality and Hope,” that Ethiopia laid the foundation stone for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on April 2, 2011, and set a timetable for the first phase of operating two turbines at the end of 2014.

The project was scheduled to conclude in 2017, and until today, only one turbine operates for less than two hours per day, he said.

“Ethiopia was forced to open one of the two drainage gates to drain the middle passage on last March 12. Ethiopia tried to finish the first phase by storing 18.5 billion m3 in 2020, and it was able to store only less than five billion cubic meters during three weeks from July 1 to 21, 2020,” he continued.

“In the following year, it tried to complete what it could not do previously, but it stored about three billion m3 only during two weeks from July 4 to 18, 2021 before the flood attack on (July) 19th.”

“Ethiopia still claims that the storage was full at 13.5 billion m3 at the level of 595 m, despite the fact that it stored during July seven billion m3.”

Sharaqy inquired about what Ethiopia would say about the third storage if it reached only 595 m3 in 2021.

“As Ethiopia is currently hoping to raise the level of water in the middle corridor by 20 m to 595 m, which is equivalent to a storage capacity of 13.5 billion m3 and not 18.5 billion m3, the next storage will range from 3 to 5.5 billion m3 at best,” he added.

The storage of water is still rejected by Egypt and Sudan in any quantity, Sharaqy said.

The dam has so far failed, after 11 years, to provide clean drinking water to the Ethiopians who live at altitudes of more than 2,000 meters from the surface of the lake, and failed as well to provide agricultural or electricity benefits, he noted.

Sharaqy said the only winner from the escalation of the dam crisis and from prolonging the construction period is the Ethiopian government, which uses the dam politically to divert the attention of Ethiopians from its internal crises and ethnic problems.

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