Khartoum — A senior Saudi Arabian official unleashed a barrage of attack against Ethiopia saying that the Horn of Africa nation is posing a threat to the Nile water rights of Egypt and Sudan.
“The [Grand] Renaissance dam has its capacity of flood waters reaching more than 70 billion cubic meters of water, and is located at an altitude of 700 meters and if it collapsed then Khartoum will drown completely and the impact will even reach the Aswan Dam,” the Saudi deputy defense minister Khalid Bin Sultan said at the meetings of the Arab Water Council in Cairo.
“Egypt is the most affected party from the Ethiopian Renaissance dam because they have no alternative water source compared to other Nile Basin countries and the establishment of the dam 12 kilometers from the Sudanese border is for political plotting rather than for economic gain and constitutes a threat to Egyptian and Sudanese national security “the Saudi official said.
The massive $4.8 billion dam is under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2015. It lies close to Sudan’s eastern borders and has a power generating capacity of 6,000MW and when completed it will enable Ethiopia to export more power to its neighbors.
Egypt fears that the Nile dam will reduce the flow of the river’s waters further downstream and Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding.
An international panel of experts is set to announce its findings on the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile’s flow in May 2013.