GERD tripartite talk moves a step forward
Addis Ababa, 28 August 2014 (WIC) – Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed to establish a committee to conduct additional studies regarding the impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The agreement came following a two day meeting of water ministers of the three countries in Khartoum, Sudan.
The proposed Tripartite National Committee (TNC) comprises of four experts from each country which will be tasked to conduct two further studies on the GERD.
In May last year, an International Panel of Experts (IPoE) which assessed the impacts and benefits of the 6000MW hydroelectric dam on the Nile River recommended further studies.
The studies cover a Water Resources/Hydropower System Simulation Model and a Transboundary Environmental and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The TNC will conclude its work within six months starting from the 1st of September and the studies will be implemented according to an agreed timetable by International Consultancy Firm(s),” Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website.
“The Ministers also agreed on the nomination of International Experts who would be able to provide technical opinions in case there are disagreements among the Ministers over the outcome of the two studies,” the statement added.
This is the fourth meeting of water ministers of the three countries aimed at discussing on ways to implement recommendations put forth by the IPoE.
During the first two rounds of talks, the countries agreed to set up a joint commission which would hire international consultants to do the additional studies.
However, the third discussion hit a snag after Egypt insisted on the establishment of a separate international experts panel parallel the joint commission to adjudicate possible future disputes. Both Sudan and Ethiopia rejected Egypt’s proposal and the later walked out of the dialogues.
Following the latest round of talks, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu said the discussion has enhanced confidence between the three countries.
He also extended an invitation to Hossam Eldin Mohamed Moghazy, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt and Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim, Minister of Water Resources and Electricity of Sudan to visit the dam site.
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