CAIRO: Egypt is keen to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations to reach a fair and binding legal agreement that meets the aspirations of all in the development, Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aty said.
Ethiopia is pinning its hopes of economic development and power generation on the GERD, but Egypt fears it will threaten its water supply from the Nile. Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety and its own water flow.
During his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Friday Abdel-Aty stressed Egypt’s keenness to protect its water rights and achieve benefits for all in any agreement on the dam.
He highlighted a request by Cairo and Khartoum for the participation of the US, EU and UN in any GERD negotiations to maximize their chances of success, given the deadlock as a result of Ethiopia’s intransigence.
The minister said that Egypt and Sudan would not accept Addis Ababa’s unilateral decision to fill and operate the GERD dam.
Abdel-Aty said a high-tech rain forecast center to be set up in the DRC will help to study the effects of climate change and to identify measures to protect citizens from its risks.
He said Egypt has trained the staff at the center in the use of rain and flood forecasting systems, aerial image analysis, hydrologic modeling and technical reporting.
He said the establishment of this center stems from Egypt’s keenness to transfer its expertise in the field of integrated management of water resources to its “brothers from the Nile Basin countries” with the aim of maximizing the use of these resources.
Egypt, he said, has been providing and is still keen to provide all forms of support through bilateral cooperation projects with the Nile Basin countries.
He explained that Egypt has established several rainwater harvesting dams and underground water stations to provide clean drinking water in remote areas by using the solar energy technology in a large number of underground wells.
He said Egypt has established many farms, fisheries and river marinas with the aim of developing the surrounding areas economically, socially and environmentally, creating job opportunities, developing fishing conditions and reducing swamp areas, which reduces diseases.