CAIRO: Egypt has dug a total of 10 wells in South Sudan’s Darfur in light of a cooperation initiative with Nile Basin countries, stated Egyptian Minister Water Resources and Irrigation Houssam Moghazi Thursday.
The cost of digging the wells is estimated at $161 million. The wells are “to provide clean drinking water, reduce the spread of diseases, and improve the economic and social situations in Darfur,” Moghazi told Youm7.
He stressed that Egypt seeks enhancing the bilateral cooperation with the Nile Basin Countries.
On Tuesday, Moghazi stated that Egypt is ready to solve the disagreement regarding Entebbe Accord with the Nile Basin countries. In 2010, five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya) signed Entebbe agreement which was rejected by Egypt and Sudan as their shares will be reduced. Burundi later signed the agreement in 2011.
After 5 years of hiatus, Egypt started to improve its relations with the Nile Basin countries and participated in the Nile Basin Initiative’s (NBI) conference.
In November 1959, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser signed a complementary deal to the 1929 agreement as Egypt’s water share increased to 55.5 billion cubic meters and Sudan’s water reached 18.5 billion cubic meters. Under the complementary agreement, Egypt established the High Dam and Sudan established The Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile in Sudan.
In 1993, both Egypt and Ethiopia signed an agreement under which both sides agreed not to establish a project that could negatively affect the interests of the other country.
Egypt is also facing a dispute with Ethiopia after Addis Ababa has started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile. Egypt has stated its concerns over the dam’s negative economic and environmental impacts. Since then, the three countries held tripartite meetings while the construction of the dam is ongoing.