CAIRO: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have agreed to replace one of the two European consultant companies to study the impacts of under-construction Ethiopian Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile’s downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan), stated Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazi in a statement Tuesday.
In a six-party meeting held in Khartoum Tuesday, the foreign affairs and water resources ministers of the three countries also reached an agreement to replace the withdrawn Dutch Deltares with French Artelia company to study the technical and environmental impacts of the dam, Moghazi added.
The three states agreed to hold a meeting among the technical experts on January 3 and 4 in Khartoum to study Egyptian proposals concerning the controversial dam that Ethiopia has started to build on the Blue Nile in 201; Egypt fears the dam, which will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant, will negatively affect its share of Nile water.
The Minister added that French Artelia was previously nominated by Egypt and Sudan to conduct the studies. He continued that the studies should be done in a period of eight months starting from February.
The Dutch firm Deltares has withdrawn from a bid to conduct the dam studies due to divergences of roles with the French BRL group and the competence of each firm in preparing the report on the impact of the dam.
Moghazi stated also it is agreed that another six-party meeting will be held in the first week of February 2015 to consider the outcomes of experts’ January meeting, noting that Ethiopia has allowed other country’s representatives to pay field visits to the dam site.
He affirmed that all participating countries affirmed their adherence to applying the principles were signed by the state’s Presidents and leaders in March 2015 to guarantee each country’s rights of water.
On Dec. 26, Moghazi stated Saturday that Nile river stream returned to its normal course after it had been diverted at the tributary of the Blue Nile for the construction of Dam.
The tributary was temporarily diverted in May 2013 for the construction of controversial Ethiopian dam, Moghazi added in a statement, noting that water flow has returned to its normal course to flow through four underground tunnels of the dam.