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Nile restrictions anger Ethiopia

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02/04/05

  01:35:42 am, by admin, 1353 words  
Categories: News

Nile restrictions anger Ethiopia

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4232107.stm

Farmers

ግብፅ ዓለም አቀፍ የፋይናንስ ተቋማት ለኢትዮጵያ የውሃ ልማት ፕሮዤዎች ብድር እንዳይሰጡ አደረገች
የናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገሮች ለዘመናት ሳይጠቀሙበት የቆዩትና የናይል ውሃ ለሀገራቸው ልማት ጥቅም ላይ ለማዋል የጀመሩትን የአስምትዮሽ እንቅስቃሴ ለማደናቀፍ ስትንቀሳቀስ የቆየችው ግብጽ አለም አቀፍ የፋይናንስ ተቋማት የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ለሚተገብራቸው የውሃ ልማት ፕሮዤዎች ብድር እንዳይሰጡ በማድረግ እንቅፋቶችን መፍጠርዋን የደረሰን ዜና ያስረዳል።
ከጦቢያ የካቲት 03 ቀን 1997

Prime Minster Meles Zenawi is talking tough against Egypt.
Ethiopia has all the right to utilize Nile (It is called Abay, thank you), after all we provide 85% of the water.
Egypt's military threat is not what is keeping Ethiopia from building a dam on Abay Wonz. That is the least we have to worry about, but Egypt's diplomatic clout is hurting Ethiopia, since they are blocking any loan or grant money from multilateral organizations (read World Bank) to Ethiopia. Just think about it, Egypt gets the second biggest foreign aid from America. So who do you think America will listen to, Egypt or Ethiopia? And without America's support, it is tough to get the money to build any irrigation on Abay Wonz.

What do you think? Read the article from BBC below and comment.
Please press Submit button only once.

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Nile restrictions anger Ethiopia
By Mike Thomson
BBC News

Looking out across the vastness of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, it is difficult to see why Ethiopia is known as a land plagued by horrific droughts.

Nile in Ethiopia
Ethiopia says it needs resources to exploit the Blue Nile
Lake Tana is 112km (70 miles) wide and fed by more than 40 tributaries.

From its origin here in the Ethiopian Highlands, the Blue Nile flows hundreds of miles north into Sudan and then Egypt before eventually flowing into the Mediterranean.

Yet despite this apparent abundance of water about 2.5 million farmers, in this region of Ethiopia alone, depend on food aid to survive.

The Ethiopian government says this state of affairs continues because it has not been able to meaningfully exploit the massive natural resource which passes largely untapped through its territory.

This means the agriculture on which so much of the population depends is at the mercy of seasonal rains which are becoming increasingly erratic.

But Ethiopia's new determination to utilise the Blue Nile to lift itself out of poverty is likely to put it on a collision course with the country which currently makes most use of the water downstream - Egypt.

Dry

The further east you drive from Lake Tana the drier it gets. Once into the hills, green makes way for dull yellows and browns further neutered by clouds of dust.

Mengistu
Farmers like Mengistu (r) rely on rain to grow crops
Near the village of Zaha small children shepherd a collection of scrawny cows and goats towards a field of lifeless stubble. A group of men, clad in traditional head scarves and cloaks, crouch in the shade listlessly, flicking away the flies.

The meagre crops in the fields provide little evidence that this is harvest time. But within view of the parched fields a large tributary of the Nile sweeps past unconcerned.

Mengistu, a farmer, says that those in his village are finding it increasingly difficult to eke out even a basic livelihood.

"The main problem here is that we don't get enough rain. In fact, this is the source of all our problems," he says.

"Over the last four years our rains have not come as usual. Both the long and short rains have failed. Last May we got no proper rains. Yet this month is supposed to mark the start of the wet season. So we haven't been able to grow our crops."

"Even when the rains do come they don't last long. If the rains come too late or too early we are just planting in vain. We've had to rely on food aid. We've got nothing to eat."

Desert miracle

Map

Many hundreds of miles downstream the very waters that passed by Ethiopia's drought-ravaged fields are used to grow fruit and vegetables in the heart of the Sinai desert.

A massive irrigation system spawns thousands of acres of fruit and vegetables at the Al-Hoda farm, one of Africa's largest organic farms. Most of the crops are bound for supermarkets in Britain and other European countries.

Any suggestion that this miracle in the desert comes at the expense of drought-plagued countries upstream gets an angry response.

The owner of the Al-Hoda Farm, Osama Kher Eldin, argues that Egypt has little or no rain and it could not survive if other nations began plundering the Nile's waters.

"If one wants to kill your kids, what you going to do? It means death for Egyptian people. We have no other sources. Only the Nile. So it is something untouchable," he says.

Egypt has not stopped at creating organic farms in the desert. It is also been using the Nile to grow whole new towns there.

In 1987 the land where Noubarya now stands was nothing but desert shrubs, but now it is a thriving urban oasis.

But even that is minor in comparison with the Egyptian government's latest major scheme, the Toshka Project, which uses the great river to irrigate a whole desert region.

Given the continent's acute shortage of water can all this be justified just to grow crops in the desert? Dia El Quosy, senior adviser to the Egyptian government's Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, says his country must act in this way.

"It's not only the production of food. It's also about the generation of employment. Some 40% of our manpower are farmers and if these people are not given opportunities and jobs they will immediately move to the cities and you can see how crowded Cairo is already."

Anger

Egypt's population has more than doubled since the 1960s. But Ethiopia is also facing similar demographic pressures. And Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says the current division of water use along the river is anything but fair.

Desert farm
Irrigation projects have enabled Egypt to turn desert areas into productive land
"While Egypt is taking the Nile water to transform the Sahara Desert into something green, we in Ethiopia - who are the source of 85% of that water - are denied the possibility of using it to feed ourselves. And we are being forced to beg for food every year," he says.

Mr Meles says he is becoming increasingly angry at Egypt's long running objections to requests from other Nile basin nations to use the river's waters for major irrigation projects.

And he warns that his government, along with those of Kenya, Uganda Tanzania - who share the White Nile with Egypt - will no longer be intimidated by past threats, principally by the late President Anwar Sadat, to use force to maintain its grip on the Nile.

"I think it is an open secret that the Egyptians have troops that are specialised in jungle warfare. Egypt is not known for its jungles. So if these troops are trained in jungle warfare, they are probably trained to fight in the jungles of the East African countries," Mr Meles says.

"And from time to time Egyptian presidents have threatened countries with military action if they move. While I cannot completely discount the sabre-rattling I do not think it is a feasible option. If Egypt were to plan to stop Ethiopia from utilising the Nile waters it would have to occupy Ethiopia and no country on earth has done that in the past."

But one thing that does prevent Ethiopia from exploiting the Nile waters is a lack of money. Mr Meles blames this on Egypt's long-term opposition to any international funding of large scale irrigation projects on the Nile.

This allegation is denied by the Egyptian government which also insists that it is fully committed to implementing any agreement reached in current talks with its neighbours along the Nile.

Cairo
Cairo

Egypt's growing population is heavily dependent on the Nile
However, the United Nation's World Food Programme says that with nine million Ethiopians in need of food aid and rains in the country becoming ever more unreliable, the talking should not go on too long.

Meles Zenawi, believes that the time for talking may already be over.

"The current regime cannot be sustained. It's being sustained because of the diplomatic clout of Egypt. Now, there will come a time when the people of East Africa and Ethiopia will become too desperate to care about these diplomatic niceties. Then, they are going to act."

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109 comments

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Comment from: Abbey [Visitor]
Abbey

I would support prime minister Meles zenaw idea.

Blue Nile belongs to Ethiopia not Egypt.

It is time to act.

Go for it Prime minister.

02/07/05 @ 07:02
Comment from: Guest [Visitor]
Guest

Well it sounds like finally the dream is gonna come true. I 100% agree with PM Meles, actually he also has made a good point. It is obvious that Egypt has hands notonly in blocking money for water infrastructure development from the aid agencies butalso I suspect Egypt might have a hand on flaming and constantly putting Ethiopia in a war situation. It is easy to come up with the analysis that if Ethiopia is under constant war (be it civil war or with neighbours), there is no more attention on development or on nile (to be specific).So brothers and sisters now is the time to go ahead and irrigate our land with nile. Can’t wait to see the farmers farming all year round…. Saying so I would like if Ethiopia remains in peace with Egypt. Things should be solved by talking around the table. Unless Egypt fails to respect…

02/07/05 @ 11:57
Comment from: Berhanu [Visitor]
Berhanu

that’s good mr. Meles Zenaw it is better to fight with Egypt if it’s happens than to create national problems bettwen ethiopians.

with regards, Berhanu

02/08/05 @ 04:13
Comment from: tesema sugebo mekketo [Visitor]
tesema sugebo mekketo

This is the proper time to irrigate and avoid drought from the country.Egypt is not the veto power to frustrate Ethiopia and hinder from deelopment.

02/08/05 @ 15:19
Comment from: tesema sugebo mekketo [Visitor]
tesema sugebo mekketo

MR MELES CONTINUE WITH YOUR PROPER STAND.EGHYPT DOES NOT HAVE RIGHT TOCONTROL ETHIOPIAN ECONOMIC PLAN.

02/08/05 @ 15:24
Comment from: Tewodros [Visitor]
Tewodros

The opinion of the prime minister sounds good but I do not think the priemer will stand firm on his stand.To me I do believe 99.9% that he raised this issue for mare political consumption.That is to buy some vote in the upcomming election.I said so putting in mind what he done against the interest of Ethiopia and Ethiopians for the past 14 years.I do believe that the priemer has the gut and interest to stand for the interest of Ethiopia and Ethiiopians.Do not forget he still love Eritrea more than any other provice of Ethiopia including Tigray his birth place.Generally,I do not expect big dream from the close friend of our enemy(EPLF).But still let us hope for the better since 100% certainity of the future is difficult.Thaks!

02/09/05 @ 02:38
Comment from: Belayneh Bekele [Visitor]
Belayneh Bekele

Respected Mr. PM Melese Zenawi
Let God bless Your dream on Blue Nile!
The Financial ability grows in the future within and without Ethiopia will absolutely possible,of cource the govermenthave to prepare a field ready. The Blue Nile and triburaries irragations capacity, electrical station, will ultimatly produce a new modern educated farmers generation in all agricultural section, in which of course electrical and agricultural production export, within a short period drought will cover by our hands, also we pay back our help to the world.
The Ethiopian goverment continues to push UN,OAU, and neighbour countries to find a fare solution and with Ethio-Egypt side find a common realistic economical continual compensation for the natural pipe to Egypt main living soul. I hope there will be a fare business for both side if genuine leadrs from both side. This is not Pollitical issue rahter a survival matter!
Ethiopia promises to Egypt never and never pollute the Blue Nile.
If the Prime Minster uses a Bule Nile issue for next Elections, then he should have to add on sentence, If you elect EPRDF or me I will Build a dam, etc… since any ethiopians want that goal.

God bless Ethiopia!!!

BB

02/09/05 @ 05:38
Comment from: mimi [Visitor]
mimi

I am 100% with the prime Minster it is about time we are doing some thing about it. It is really frustrating when you see Nile water been wasted in caro, and everywhere you go there are lots of development going on in the desert. Any way who said Egyptian life is more important than Ethiopian oh I forgot Briton said that.

02/09/05 @ 11:23
Comment from: Abraham [Visitor]
Abraham

Prime minster Meles Zenaw a true Ethiopian i
am 100% with him,
Good Bless

02/09/05 @ 12:29
Comment from: Zewdie [Visitor]
Zewdie

If there is a scale of measurment above ONE HUNDRED I prefer that to 100%. No matter how economically poor the country is, we have definitely a right to stand for it! To cut a long story short, we all have to cooperate and start to perform all needed Projectes….feed ourseves! A dream is going to be true. God bless Ethiopia and her Nations. Thanks
Mr. PM Melese Zenawi

02/09/05 @ 17:26
Comment from: the-ethiopian [Visitor]
the-ethiopian

I am not trying to question Meles’s ethiopianism or not. But it seems coquecidential that he bought up this topic of interest to the ethiopian people, around this time close to election. This seems to be a smart stragety to help him in an indirect way to advocate for his election coming soon………
First and for most create better and peaceful situation between your neighbors. Fix or mediate the internal problems with the country….
ONE LOVE, ONE PEACE
……..THE-ETHIOPIAN

02/09/05 @ 17:38
Comment from: Teddy [Visitor]
Teddy

I have been out of the country for almost two months now (Ethiopia) so I found it hard to believe such serious comments have come out of the PM or his government. Because they have slept on this issue for the last 14 years and it was almost sure they aren’t going to do any thing about it in the future either.
And again if he is really serious about what he is saying I think he has to go for it .
Because I truly believe that there is nothing impossible not even………

02/09/05 @ 18:58
Comment from: abba biyyaa [Visitor]
abba biyyaa

Meles tries to deceive every body in order to execute his short term missions, and this time the election. He doesn’t need to run for a candidacy, simply because no one can hinder him from declaring him self the king of kings.

Had he been serious enough, the Oromo question vital to any agenda on the contemporary political scene in Ethiopia. Thus, interaction with the OLF would have been to the best interest of lasting peace in the region.

02/09/05 @ 19:40
Comment from: philipos [Visitor]
philipos

I Will vote for you for the rest of my life if you and your goverment plan and do irrigation for our motherland we all ethiopian we don’t want lesson starvation any more better fight with them

02/09/05 @ 19:55
Comment from: abba biyyaa [Visitor]
abba biyyaa

Meles is talking about the Nile, some thing beyond his reach. Another time a baren no man’s land, Badme had become the necleus the ethiopian political agenda, both domestic and international. Who cares about Badme or tigray it self.

Let Tigres talk about the source of the hydro electric power of Finchaa’a that emantes from the heart of Oromiya and is the life line of “prosperous” Tigray, with its heavy industries.

Oromia shall be free.

Long live OLF!

02/09/05 @ 20:17

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rebtel

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