Thursday,22 March, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)
Thursday,22 March, 2018
Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

More on the dam

FRESH talks started between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on Sunday in Khartoum to discuss the technical offers issued by French firms BRL and Artelia for the completion of impact studies on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The offers will be discussed with representatives from the two firms during the three-day talks. The two firms submitted their offer to the three countries last month. They gave experts from the countries a week to study the technical proposal ahead of this week’s meeting.

The firms will conduct two studies, one on the effects of the dam on the water flow to Egypt and Sudan and the other on the dam’s environmental, economic and social impact.

The dam has long been a cause of friction between Cairo and Addis Ababa. Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns over the dam’s possible effect on Egypt’s water supply from the Nile, while Ethiopia insists the dam is mainly for generating electricity and will not affect Egypt’s share of Nile water.

In December, the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian foreign and irrigation ministers signed the Khartoum Agreement. The document prevents Addis Ababa from starting to fill the dam’s reservoir until technical studies are finished — this October, according to the document’s roadmap — and allows field visits to the dam by Egyptian and Sudanese experts.

In another confidence-building measure in March last year, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a declaration of principles on the dam that included cooperation between the three countries regarding their water needs, with the aim of improving sustainable development and regional economic integration. The three also agreed not to cause harm or damage to any of the signatories.

The dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water. Partial operation is likely to start by the middle of this year.

Egypt depends on the Nile for 95 per cent of its water needs. Most of this water comes from the Blue Nile.

It currently receives 55.5 billion cubic metres of the Nile’s water while Sudan gets 18 billion cubic metres, as stipulated by a 1959 treaty.

Legal tuk-tuks

TUK-TUK drivers will now have officially designated stops on side streets and will be banned from entering main roads in a decision taken by Giza’s traffic administration and the governorate, the Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Ayman Abdel-Qader, head of the Media and Public Relations Department at the traffic administration, said tuk-tuk drivers have been instructed not to drive on the main roads and that violators will be fined.

Abdel-Qader added that the stops will be located 150 metres from the main road to reduce traffic congestion often caused by tuk-tuks.

Wa’el Taher, head of the Planning Department at Giza’s traffic administration, said there will be six new stops: at the entrances of Zaghloul, Ezeddin Omar, Othman Moharram and Al-Tawabeq streets in Faisal, and Al-Eshreen and Al-Matbaa streets. Taher added that one of the stops is currently being laid out.

In August last year, the Cairo Governorate banned tuk-tuks in 15 districts and said it would impose a LE1,500 fine on violators.

Deaths on the road

FIVE people died and 38 people were injured on Monday when a public transportation bus overturned on Egypt’s Koraymat Road in Upper Egypt’s Beni Suef Governorate, the Health Ministry said.

Security sources put the death toll at nine.

Initial investigations show that a burst tyre forced the driver to swerve into the opposite lane before the bus hit a barrier and then dropped from a height of three metres.

Fourteen of the injured who were transported to Beni Suef public hospital have since been discharged, with one still undergoing treatment, while 23 others were transported to Beni Suef University Hospital and are still receiving treatment.

Most of the victims are from Al-Wadi Al-Gedid, Sharqiya and Cairo, according to media reports.

Koraymat highway has seen many deadly accidents since it opened in 2011. The highway is known for lacking proper lighting, police checkpoints and emergency medical services.

Meanwhile, in Beheira, a 25-year-old woman and her three-year-old son died and four others were injured, including the driver, when a car overturned on the Kom Hamada-Tawfiqeya road in Giza.

The car’s rear tyre blew out, causing it to hit a roadside barrier.

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