An Europe-based water institute official blamed Egypt for keeping an international report on Ethiopia’s mega dam classified. Dr. Ana Cascao of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said Cairo might have kept the final report of the Tripartite International Panel of Experts on Ethiopia’s $4 billion dam a secret in order to “divert attention from political revolutions” in Egypt and to portray a national security crisis.
The Tripartite International Panel of Experts included four Egyptian and Sudanese experts as well as four international experts. The committee addressed various concerns from all sides, and organized meetings and visits to the dam site before it submitted one final report with full consensus, signed by all members of the Panel.
The final report concluded that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) satisfied all international design criteria and safety standards. The report also said the dam has no impact on water flow downstream toward Egypt.
According to Dr. Cascao, various studies show that the GERD has benefits particularly for Sudan, as well as Egypt. She added that the Ethiopian dam “makes more water available for farm & irrigation in sudan, it reduces the problem of evaporation in Egyptian dams and it solves sediment and flood issues” that have reportedly cost millions for Sudan and Egypt.
Dr. Cascao is an author and the top independent expert on Nile Hydropolitics and Transboundary water resource management, on which subjects she did her PhD and researched on for half a decade.
Dr. Cascao claimed she was not surprised that Sudan is supporting Ethiopia, but “Egypt has to start reviewing its historical position.” The London-based Guardian newspaper also said “the greatest long-term concern for Egypt” might be Sudan’s intentions of increasing irrigation projects after the Ethiopian dam becomes operational. Dr. Cascao added that considering the dam’s numerous benefits for Sudan and Egypt, the two countries should actually “pay Ethiopia for the construction and maintenance of the dam.”
However, Egyptian government and its state media are propagating the message “we are under threat” and keeping positive facts about the Dam “a secret from the people of Egypt.” According to her, both Ethiopian and Egyptian governments are using the mega Dam as a diversion tool from domestic political issues and as a tactic to unify their divided people against perceived external threat.