Ethiopia: Dam Vicinity Somberly Deserves Conservation

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have at different times tabled their negotiating proposals since the inception of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

However, Egypt has been arguing with Ethiopia bringing the idea of receiving over 55-billion cubic meters of the annual flow of water to the forefront, which was stipulated in the 1959's bilateral agreement of Sudan and Egypt. It is to be noted that Ethiopia was not a party to the so-called agreement which actually is null and void.

Egypt has also been expressing concern on drought scenario and water flow managements during dry years saying the filling of the Dam reservoir will potentially lead to a "prolonged drought on it."

It is undeniable fact that climate change has become erratic phenomenon and one of the biggest threats of our times presenting severe undesirable dangers in every ecosystem on the planet. These profound impacts have been observed in reality and reflected in various ways.

Temperatures are on the rise and wildfires are exhibited here and there. Not only has the world encountered a range of challenges related to wildfires and temperature rise, but it is also recurrently entangled with greatly fluctuating rainfall patterns that lead to changes in frequency and intensity of water bodies. As a result, recurrent storm, drought and flood are now more frequent occurrences than before.

As studies indicate, one of the well-documented effects of climate change is its impact on the water bodies as a result of precipitation.

Scientists forecast that climate change will provoke new and less predictable precipitation patterns, dubbed "drought and deluge" or "precipitation whiplash."

Nothing especial, but the case of Nile Water cannot be different from this global incidence. It can encounter challenges such as low water levels and/or drought in the long run.

However, the challenges of climate change are not untreated or unbeaten matters as environment protection and conservation activities are the most feasible ways to grasp the impacts.

For good reason, Ethiopia has gone miles giving due attention to avert the anticipated potential impacts of climate change. The present-day annual massive seedling plantation is the best showcase in this regard. Singing the same tune it is also undertaking similar conservation activities in the surrounding areas of the dam.

In actual fact, drought mitigation measure should not be left solely to Ethiopia. Rather, it requires the concerted efforts of all riparian countries to curb the devastating impacts of climate change, reduce future threats to sustain the level of the water.

Predominantly, we can talk and negotiate about water allocation and quota principles when we are able to preserve the ecological system of downstream environment and maintain the water flow level.

Basin countries, particularly the downstream ones, Egypt and Sudan, should focus on integrated and basin wide environment conservation activities than bogging down on "current use and natural rights" which is null and void.

In so doing, they can come up with a workable and lasting solution to the problems which are directly or indirectly connected to the water share agenda. As stated time and again, Ethiopia does not have any problem for Egypt is utilizing the Nile waters. The problem arises when the latter tries to claim a monopoly on the Nile water.

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