Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Nile Not in Egypt?

While water issues in the US will quite certainly continue to heighten in severity over the next 50 years, one must take a moment to turn their attention to a very significant issue happening overseas between Ethiopia and Egypt.  "Ethiopia is Killing us," stated taxi driver Ahmed Hossam of Cairo, "If they build this dam, there will be no Nile.  If there's no Nile, then there's no Egypt."

This man is referring to the proposed project known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which would re-adjust water-sharing arrangements with Ethiopia's surrounding countries.  The current arrangements have been in place since 1959 and allocate three-fourths of the Nile waters to Egypt.  Its proposed length would be approximately 1.1 miles long, and could cost upwards of $4.7 billion dollars.  Many Ethiopians are viewing this as an immense source of national pride and a symbol of how the country has rebounded from the debilitating famines of the 1980's and 90's.

As maybe expected, this controversy has caused quite an out poor of concern from many different groups of surrounding and upstream countries.  So far there have been reports of various physical assaults, as well as other violent or provoking acts in protest.  Only time will tell how the world will react to this project, but currently, the World Bank is sticking to their decision to not fund the Renaissance Dam.  The whole deal leaves several questions, and an uncertainty for many areas and surrounding countries who will be directly affected.  With an estimated population forecast of 150 million by 2050, almost doubling Egypt's current population, these tense dynamics are assured to remain.

No comments:

Post a Comment