Browsing: water wars

The Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam is inching closer to completion, rekindling the environmental and political controversies that have dogged the project from the start nearly 10 years ago. In addition, recent satellite images show a steady increase in the amount of water being held back by the new mega dam. Mahemud Tekuya explains what’s at stake.


The current dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is directly linked to colonial-era Nile treaties. During the scramble for Africa, controlling the source of the Nile was a major colonial goal for the British. In 1902, the UK and Ethiopia concluded the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty in which Ethiopia agreed not to arrest or totally block the flow of the Nile.

Then there was the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty signed in 1929. This was between the British (on behalf of its colonies, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) and Egypt. The treaty prevented British East African colonies …