Ethiopian official media reported that a large, contentious dam on the Blue Nile river has been filled for the second year, a move that is sure to enrage Egypt and Sudan, which have long opposed the project.
Addis Ababa has stated that the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is critical to the country’s economic development and electricity generation.
“The second filling of the Renaissance dam is complete, and the water is overflowing,” Ethiopian water, irrigation, and energy minister Seleshi Bekele said on Monday.
He tweeted, “It means we finally have the requisite volume of water to power the two turbines.”
“The second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be finished in a few minutes,” the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) stated earlier on Monday.
In a country where 65 million people are now without power, Ethiopians are eagerly anticipating the construction of a turbine that will be powered by the dam.
“This is a watershed moment in Ethiopian history, and Ethiopians are ecstatic. “This is a national pride project,” she added, adding that many Ethiopians had contributed financially to the dam by purchasing government bonds.