Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy published, on Friday, a new satellite image of the progress in construction at its controversial large dam on the Blue Nile River.
Moreover, the image also showed that the dam’s reservoir has a stable water level, which has reached the level of the concrete wall.
On 6 February, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Seleshi Bekele confirmed that 78.3% of the construction work on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) had been completed.
He said that the progress achieved during the past six months is the fastest since the construction of the dam began.
Bekele reiterated his country’s determination to complete the second phase of the dam’s filling next July, regardless of the agreement, or lack thereof, reached with downstream countries.
“The construction of the dam is going on as planned and there is no way that the filling of the dam’s reservoir in the coming July could be escaped,” the minister said.
He ignored any mention of agreements between Ethiopia and the other parties involved in the issue, namely Sudan and Egypt, before the filling process.
The first filling of the 145-metre-tall dam’s reservoir began last July. At the time, Addis Ababa claimed the filling was accidental due to the heavy rains that tend to occur around this time every year.
Both Egypt and Sudan fear the consequences related to the filling and operation of the $4.6bn mega-dam, as it may restrict their vital water supplies.