The GERD Debates and Possible Consequences
Keywords:Nile, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, GERD project, revolution, water crises
The Greek historian, Herodotus (c. 484 – c. 425 BC), formulated the proverb often used today that "Egypt is a gift of the Nile". This finding is a good reflection of the thousands-of-years-old firm belief that the river and the country form an inseparable, organic entity. This conspicuous consensus in Egyptian society over the Nile goes beyond the historical heritage that the river played in the formation and survival of Egyptian civilizations. The existence of Egypt is still closely intertwined with the life-giving river, which accounts for 90% of the Arab state's freshwater needs. The steady flow of the water of the Nile is therefore almost synonymous with survival for the country. The dam built by Ethiopia along the Nile could therefore lead to a serious water crisis in Egypt, as in other neighbouring states, which is otherwise a common cause of armed conflicts. Cairo considered the situation so critical that it was described as a threat to security and peace in the region. At the same time, Ethiopia's priority is to ensure its own economic development and improve the livelihoods of its citizens, rather than the stability of the region. It hopes to implement the latter from Africa's largest hydropower plant to date, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).