Egypt's Trade, Public Enterprise Ministers discuss providing textile factories with raw materials    Egypt, Russia demand Israel end bloodshed in Occupied Palestinian Territories    Remittances to Egypt increase 11% to high of $30bn in 2020: World Bank    Egyptian, US navies hold joint exercises in Red Sea    Egypt sets up extensive contacts to halt Israeli attacks on Palestinian territories    Sudan pledges to investigate killing of 2 protestors during peaceful sit-in    Grand Egyptian Museum finishes installing Tutankhamun's 3rd shrine    Egypt discovers several ancient tombs in Sohag's Al-Hamdiya necropolis    BSH International reviews expansion strategy in Egyptian market    Egypt scales up readiness of hospitals nationwide for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egyptian hospitals in Sinai on alert amid Israeli aggression on Gaza    Egypt announces Thursday 1st day of Eid Al-Fitr    Nuweiba: Egypt's paradise of serenity    Global economic recovery to improve debt service coverage ratios: Moody's    Egypt's current account deficit jumps to $7.6 bln in 1H of FY2020/21: CBE    Egypt's trade deficit down 1.2% to $3.34bn in February 2021: CAPMAS    Egypt raises readiness at university hospitals for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egypt's Parliament discusses abolishing imprisonment for female debtors    India signs an agreement to buy 300,000 doses of Remdesivir from Eva Pharma    Egypt will locally manufacture first 2m Sinovac vaccine doses by June-end    2021 South East European Film Festival celebrates cinematic diversity of 18 countries    Turkey seeks to restore 'historic unity' with Egyptian people: Erdogan    Elneny's Arsenal targets 'remontada' in Europa League semi-finals    Zamalek eye return to victories at expense of Smouha in Egyptian Premier League    Al Ahly face injuries as they take on Al Ittihad Alexandria    Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from France    Direct flights between Russia and Egypt will resume in June, Ambassador    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Blinken presses Ethiopia's Abiy to ensure full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray    Forces opposed to Somali president control parts of Mogadishu    Nine people executed in Egypt over Kerdasa police killings in 2013    UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic's alleged ties to betting company    61 doctors died from coronavirus since start of April: Egypt's medical syndicate    Egypt targets 5.6% inflation rate in FY2020/21, 6% in FY2021/22    Egypt allocates EGP 132 bln to modernise railway system: Transport minister    Real Madrid not thinking about any Super League sanctions: Zidane    Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after attacks    All the winners at the 93rd Academy Awards    Egypt's Ahly granted approval to build new stadium on Cairo outskirts    Aswan Int'l Women's Film Festival dedicates 5th edition to Kawthar Heikal    BREAKING: Egypt's information minister Osama Heikal resigns amid parliamentary criticism    'War was not Egypt's aim, but peace was the ultimate goal,' Sisi says on Sinai Liberation Day anniversary    Factbox: Key nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Water wars
Published in Ahram Online on 12 - 04 - 2021

Developments in the crisis over Ethiopia's construction of a dam on the Blue Nile and the potential existential threats to Sudan and Egypt that poses are crucial. They present the international community with a chance to demonstrate its ability to handle a conflict over water, the very key to life. The international community's silence on this matter does nothing to serve the security and stability of East Africa or the resolution of other water conflicts in the world. Last week, Brigadier Tahir Abu-Hajah, adviser to the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, warned of the possibility of a major war over water if the international community did not intervene to stop Ethiopian recklessness. "What is happening in Ethiopia is very dangerous. All options are open to Egypt and Sudan to resolve the crisis over the dam," he said, adding, "deprivation of water is the most powerful cause of enmity." This was the strongest statement ever by a Sudanese official since the crisis began a decade ago.
The list of options for resolving this crisis between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is shrinking, however. In keeping with its intransigent ways, Addis Ababa is preparing for a second stage of filling the Renaissance Dam in July. Earlier this week Ethiopia tried to test the pulse in Cairo and Khartoum. It said that it was prepared to exchange information on the filling of the dam and invited them to nominate dam operators for the purpose before the beginning of the second filling when the rainy season arrives. Cairo and Khartoum naturally rejected the offer since it is clearly a ruse to waste time and avoid the essential demand for a tripartite agreement over the filling and operation of the dam beforehand.
Unfortunately, interventions on the part of the key international stakeholders in East Africa are still unconvincing. So far they have come up with only tentative and ineffective suggestions, despite the grave concerns aired by senior officials in those countries over the looming threat of water wars. US Vice President Kamala Harris, for example, recently warned that the next wars will not be over oil but over water. According to recent studies, global population growth will reach 10 billion by 2050, which will increase global demand for water from 4,600 billion m3 to 6,000 billion m3. The UN's water resource development report predicts that, by 2050, four billion people will suffer from extreme water stress. There is a body of international laws that govern water uses and hydraulic projects on transboundary watercourses. The very purpose is to avert harm, especially life-threatening harm, to others and to promote peace and security. Clearly, therefore, the international community should see it as its duty to address the dangerous threat to 150 million people in the Nile Valley because of Ethiopia's determination to withhold much more water than it needs for electricity generating purposes.
Ethiopia has no water scarcity problem. It simply wants to monopolise and control that resource, perhaps in order to force the downstream nations to purchase water from Addis at some future stage. Indeed, an Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman let that notion slip out even though he later retracted the statement.
The international community, as embodied in the UN, must act immediately to bring a stop to the madness of Ethiopia's futile negotiational behaviour and create a stricter international mechanism to enforce international law on matters related to the construction of dams and other hydraulic facilities on transboundary watercourses. Today one country thinks it can get away with depriving others of water ostensibly to generate electricity. If the international community allows this to happen, how will it act when water scarcity threatens to precipitate conflicts without end?

*A version of this article appears in print in the 15 April, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.