Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1255, (23 - 29 July 2015)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1255, (23 - 29 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Seventh dam meeting

KHARTOUM hosted the seventh meeting of the tripartite technical committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with the participation of water resources ministers from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. They are to review the proposals submitted by firms that will conduct a technical evaluation on the dam, reports Doaa El-Bey. The two-day meeting started yesterday.

The three countries had previously formed a committee to select a consultancy firm to assess the impact of the dam on Sudan and Egypt.

The sixth – which was held in Cairo earlier this month – ended without reaching agreement. The only thing the participants agreed on was to meet within two weeks in Khartoum.  
In March, the leaders of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on GERD in Khartoum in preparation for negotiations on the details of the giant dam.

The declaration of principle is supposed to be followed by separate agreements regulating the generation of electricity by the dam’s turbines and fixing the capacity of the reservoir behind the dam. Within 15 months of the declaration being signed, additional agreements resolving all outstanding issues should be in place.  

In April, following lengthy deliberations, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia managed to select two consultancy firms – one French, one Dutch – to undertake studies on the environmental, social and economic impact of the construction of the dam.

Egypt fears the dam will affect its traditional share of water from the Nile, its only source of water, which was determined by a 1929 and 1959 water-sharing treaty. But Ethiopia insists the dam will not lessen Egypt’s water needs, asserting that the project is indispensable to its own national development and the economic welfare of its burgeoning population.

The multi-billion dollar dam, being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometres from the Sudanese border, has a capacity of 74 billion cubic metres, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 Megawatts. The dam is scheduled for completion in 2017. The first two turbines are expected to begin generating in September.  

Mehleb’s tour

PRIME MINISTER Ibrahim Mehleb arrived in Equatorial Guinea on Monday for a two-day visit in which he spoke at the first international conference on Africa’s fight against Ebola. During a meeting on Monday with Egyptian expats in Equatorial Guinea, Mehleb said Egypt was making “advances in politics, economy and security”. He told Egyptian nationals during the opening of the new Egyptian Embassy in Malibu that the state was regaining its stature, as the government works on fighting corruption and empowering officials in the decision-making process. Mehleb also plans to visit the headquarters of the Arab Contractors Company, Egypt’s leading construction firm, to check on their latest projects across Equatorial Guinea. Mehleb will head to Italy on a two-day trip starting 22 July to attend the Milano Expo. The prime minister will meet his Italian counterpart on the sidelines to discuss a number of international issues, including “countering terrorism.”

Building on fire

ONE CIVILIAN was killed and two others, including a firefighter, were injured as a blaze erupted on Monday in a three-storey building on Al-Fagala Street off Ramses Square, Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar stated. At least 17 fire trucks were dispatched to downtown Cairo as firefighters rescued two families from the second and third floor. Part of the rear facade of the building collapsed and nearby buildings were evacuated. Smoke could be seen rising from a distance. The building is home to five bookshops located on the ground floor. Al-Fagala Street is well known as a commercial centre for bookshops as well as printing factories.

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