VENTURES AFRICA – New research has suggested there is sufficient water in the Nile to support all 10 countries it flows through.
This emerged on Monday as Ethiopia’s massive dam-building plans continued to cause disquiet in downstream Egypt.
Simon Langan, the head of East Africa and Nile Basin Office of the International Water Management Institute, said: “”We would argue that physically there is enough water in the Nile for all the riparian countries.”
He made this statement as Ethiopia and Egypt are at each other’s throats over the former’s actions along the Nile River.
Top Ethiopia government officials have reportedly said they are looking at jumpstarting the massive Renaissance Dam project along the Nile River in an effort to increase water resources and energy for the East African country.
Political analysts have said this could threaten regional stability. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also called on Addis Ababa to push the dam project to the backburner in order to focus on other economic initiatives.
While Cairo has denied any intention of attacking the dam, as reported by whistleblower website Wikileaks, the country’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Bahaa el-Din has reportedly said that Egypt was maintaining its concerns about the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.
“What we really need to do is make sure that there is access to this water… Poverty rates are about 17 percent in Egypt but for five of the upstream riparian countries it is more like 50 percent. So, this access to water is very important,” Langan said, speaking at the Addis Ababa launch of the River Nile Basin.