26/08/09

capital eritrea

Egypt State Information Service (SIS) is reporting that Egypt is denying reports that Eritrea diverted one of the Nile tributaries away from Egypt and Sudan.

Dr. Mohamed Nasr Eddin Allam, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation said reports are not true on Eritrea’s diversion of one of the tributaries of River Atbara which is nourishing the River Nile away from Egypt and Sudan.

He added that Eritrea’s technical capabilities are limited in this field and its contribution to the water resources of the Nile Basin is rather weak.

Allam said Egypt has approved last week the establishment of a number of dams in Ethiopia and some Nile Basin countries to cultivate 20,000 feddans by those countries. He affirmed that Egypt does not object the establishment of small dams by those countries, contrary to some parties’ allegations that Egypt is against development process in Nile Basin countries.

Egypt had approved the establishment of Tikrizi dam in Ethiopia since the year 2005 as the Ethiopian government presented the detailed feasibility studies on the dam to Egypt and Egypt approved as it is to be built for only power generation and would not affect Egypt’s quota of Nile water, he added.

The projects of building dams for power generation would also benefit not only Ethiopia but also the down stream countries, Egypt and Sudan.

On the other hand, Allam said the satellite survey of the Nile Basin by the Ministry for the Nile Basin countries indicated that the establishment on the Nile establishments including the small dams would not affect Egypt’s water Quota.

The two largest such establishments is Marwa dam of Sudan which stores 12 billion cubic meters a year and that is within the limit of Sudan’s water quota according to 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan.

The second establishment is that of Tikrizi dam in Ethiopia which stores nine billion cubic meters of water a year and it is used for power generation. Allam added that he made a report to the political leadership in this respect.

Relations between Egypt and Ethiopia at the best and there are cooperation by the two countries in the water question through the Nile Basin countries, the Minister added.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia the eastern Nile Basin countries are conducting studies to carry out a number of power generation projects and power linkage, for the good of the three countries, the Minister added.