November 20, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The cause of Egypt’s fear of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that it will enable the Sudan to use its full share of the Nile water, which has been going to Egypt as a “lend” since 1959, said the Sudanese foreign minister on Monday.
“For the first time, a Sudanese (official) says this frankly, Sudan did not use its full share of the Nile water according to the 1959 agreement. The Renaissance Dam preserves Sudan’s water that was going to Egypt at the time of the flood and gives it back (to Sudan) in time of drought,” said Ibrahim Ghandour in statements to Russia Today.
In a recent meeting held in Cairo, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan failed to reach an agreement on a report by two French consultative firms, BRL and Artelia, about the GERD’s impact on Egypt’s share of the Nile water and the dam’s ecological, economic and social impacts of the dam on Sudan and Egypt.
The Sudanese Sudanese Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Mutaz Musa who represented his country at the meeting questioned the credibility of the study alluding it ignored Sudan’s share of the Nile water as it is provided in the 1959 agreement.
“There is an agreement between Sudan and Egypt that this share is a loan in accordance with the 1959 agreement. Now the creditor can stop giving this lend and it is clear that the debtor does not want this tender to stop ..” Ghandour said on Monday giving a clear explanation of what the water minister had said.
In line with an agreement between Egypt and Sudan in November 1959, Egypt has the right to 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water a year and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters per year.
As Sudan didn’t use its full share, in agreed to grant Egypt one and half billion cubic meters of Nile water a year until 1977. Also, due to the lowering of water storage capacity of the High Aswan Dam by the sediment deposited in its reservoir, Sudan granted additional five billion cubic meters to Egypt.
Egypt says the GERD would negatively affect the power production of the High Aswan Dam pointing that the filling of the Ethiopian dam will lower water volume in the reservoir of Lake Nasser.
Last Saturday after the failure of Cairo meeting, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi once again threatened Ethiopia saying that the Nile “water is a matter of life or death.”.
“No one can touch Egypt’s share of water,” he stressed.