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ADDIS ABABA - 30 May 2013

Blue Nile to be diverted ‘a few metres’ for Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

The Ethiopian officials have said that the section of the Blue Nile that passes through Sudan “will be diverted for a few metres”, for the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, but will then be left to follow its natural course.

The Ethiopian government began to divert the section of the Blue Nile last Tuesday for the construction of the dam.

During an inauguration ceremony yesterday, CEO of the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), Mehret Debebe, said that “this dam is being built in the middle of the river so we can’t perform construction work while the river is flowing. We can now implement civil engineering works without obstacles. The purpose of this is to divert the river course by just a few metres, and then leave it to flow as normal.”

He explained that countries located at the Horn of Africa plan to invest more than $12 billion for the exploitation of the river resource that runs through their rugged plateau, enabling them to become the largest source of electric power on the African continent.

Egypt and Sudan have often expressed their concerns over the Ethiopian step of diverting the course of the Blue Nile, as well as the potential for damage resulting from the move.