Ethiopia says Nile Dam project is facing financial and technical problems

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Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (al-Nahda Dam) project on the Nile is facing financial and technical problems, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday.

The Dam is a controversial project that has raised Egypt’s concerns about its impact on its Nile water share.

On Saturday, Ahmed pointed out during a press conference, that the construction of the dam had been planned to be completed in five years, adding: “but we will not be able to finish on time because of the failing management of the project, especially with the intervention of Metek (a company affiliated to the Ethiopian defense force).”

The prime minister stressed that the company and its management did not have the experience or knowledge to work in such large projects, according to the Ethiopian news agency.

Ahmed added that after coming to power he established a committee to follow up on the work, but the committee reports pointed out that Metek did not implement the agreement as it should.

He added that Italian Salini company demanded compensation from the Ethiopian government, because of Metek's alleged delays.

In the same context, the prime minister said that the director of the project, late engineer Simegnew Bekele, who was killed under suspicious circumstances recently, was "serving his homeland and sacrificed his life for the country and that investigations into his death are still underway." Read more

The dam is being built near the country’s western border with Sudan that, when completed, will be Africa’s largest.

The dam is a $4 bln hydroelectric project that Cairo fears will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from Ethiopia’s highlands and via Sudan.

Addis Ababa hopes the dam will make it a hub for the electricity-hungry region and denies it will undermine Egypt’s access to water.

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