Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

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    • The Nile, the longest river in the world, is one of the frontlines of conflict over its water as climate change sweeps Africa and the world.

    About the dam 

    • It is formerly known as the Millennium Dam and sometimes referred to as Hidase Dam.
    • Led by Ethiopia, the 145 meter tall hydropower project will be Africa’s largest dam after completion.
    • It is located in the Horn of Africa which is a peninsula and the easternmost extension of the African continent, consisting of the countries namely, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

    • The construction was initiated in 2011 on the upper Blue Nile tributary.
      • The Nile, the longest river in the world, has been at the center of a dispute involving several countries that are dependent on the river’s waters.
        • The main waterways of the Nile run through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt and its drainage basin runs through several countries in East Africa, including Ethiopia.
      • Blue Nile and White Nile are two tributaries of the Nile.
        • While the White Nile is the longer tributary, the Blue Nile is the main source of water and fertile soil.
        • The White Nile is called so because of the light-coloured clay sediment in the water giving the river a light gray color. 
        • The Blue Nile flows for about 1,400 km to Khartoum from Lake Tana which is 1,800 meters above sea level in the Ethiopian mountains.
        • The White Nile and Blue Nile merge near Khartoum, becoming the proper Nile.

    GERD Dispute

    • Ethiopia and Egypt are at the forefront of this dispute and Sudan’s location between Egypt up north and Ethiopia down south has caused it to become an inadvertent party to this dispute.
    • Given the dam’s location, it would potentially allow Ethiopia to gain control of the flow of the river’s waters and could result in lower water levels within Egypt’s borders.
    • Egypt, which lies further downstream, has consistently objected to the dam’s construction.

    Source: DTE