Ethiopia Completes Third Filling Of Blue Nile Mega-Dam

Ethiopia said Friday it has completed the third filling of its mega-dam on the Blue Nile, a development that could raise further tensions with downstream neighbours Egypt and Sudan.

The announcement comes a day after Ethiopia said it had launched electricity production from the second turbine at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which lies in the west of the country.

“Today as you see behind me, the third filling is complete,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in images shown on state television from the dam site.

“The Nile is a gift of God given to us for Ethiopians to make use of it.”

The massive $4.2 billion dam, set to be the largest hydroelectric scheme in Africa, has been at the centre of a regional dispute ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011.

There is still no agreement between Ethiopia and its downstream neighbours Egypt and Sudan about the GERD’s operations despite talks held under the auspices of the African Union.

Cairo and Khartoum view it as a threat because of their dependence on Nile waters, while Ethiopia deems it essential for the electrification and development of Africa’s second most populous nation.

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