Egypt Watch

Egypt accuses Ethiopia of rejecting GERD agreement

The Egyptian Minister of Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aty, accused Addis Ababa of obstructing a fair and balanced agreement that considers Egypt and Sudan’s interests regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He added during the opening of Cairo Water Week that his country is considered one of the world’s driest countries, noting that 97 per cent of the water comes from outside the borders. He explained that Egypt is recycling more than 25 per cent of its water needs. Regarding the growing population, there would be a steady decrease in the Egyptian citizen’s share of water. For years, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan failed to reach an agreement on the GERD filling rules. This was before Ethiopia had already begun filling the GERD reservoir in July, thanks to rain fall in the region. Egypt and Sudan have called for a binding legal agreement that includes stipulating rules for the GERD’s safety, how it is filled in times of drought, the operating system, and a dispute settlement mechanism.

In contrast, Ethiopia wants to adhere to signing the rules for filling and operating the GERD, which can be changed in the future by simply notifying, and without requiring the approval of Egypt and Sudan.