Ethiopia slams International Rivers organisation for supporting Egypt
Ethiopia's National Panel of Experts linked to the Renaissance Dam
project dismiss as biased to Egypt criticisms of the dam levelled by
US-based environmental group
The National Panel of Experts linked to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance
Dam (GERD) has slammed the International Rivers Network (IRN) for
criticising the Renaissance Dam project, accusing the body of being
biased and supporting Egypt against the dam.
The panel accused, in a statement issued Thursday, the US-based
environmental organisation "of subverting Ethiopia’s efforts to develop
its water resources and lift its vast and growing population out of
poverty." It accused the IRN of being paid by Egypt in order to lobby
against the Renaissance Dam internationally.
"Again, the IRN never loses opportunity to lobby for its Egyptian
paymasters. Not only does the IRN talk about the 'oversize' of GERD, but
also about the Egyptians’ negative emotions over GERD: anger and fear."
The IRN issued 31 March 2014 a statement about Renaissance Dam along
with a leaked version of the report of the tripartite technical
committee assigned to study the probable impact of the dam on Egypt and
Sudan issued last year.
"One international dam expert who has seen the report states that it
shows that construction on the project is proceeding on an aggressively
accelerated schedule with little room for adjusting key elements of dam
design to reduce harm or prevent problems," the IRN said in its
The environmental NGO called on Ethiopia to halt construction of the
dam until studies on the impact of the dam on the downstream countries
The IRN added that it would work on keeping international donors from
investing in the GERD project while providing alternatives to Ethiopia
for water and land reclamation.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to
study the probable effects of the Renaissance Dam. But the committee's
discussions were thwarted in December when Sudanese President Omar
Al-Bashir announced his support for the dam during a meeting with
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Talks between Ethiopia and Egypt broke down in recent months. Yet
officials from both countries insist they will continue to hold talks in
order to solve the dispute over the dam. Earlier this month, the
foreign ministers of both Egypt and Ethiopia held talks in Brussels on
Founded in 1985 as an international NGO, the International Rivers
Network is an environmental anti-dam organisation that aims to protect
rivers and local communities that depend on those rivers. The US based
organisation is known internationally for its stances against dams in
Source Ahram Online