To mark Earth Day, the North African nations, Egypt and Sudan, should join Ethiopia to save the Nile river basin’s ecosystem. Now, the trilateral agreement to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is cliffhanging due to the claims of all three partakers.
The Ethiopian environmental experts are watching how these three countries were fighting on peripheral issues like water sharing, safety, and size of megawatt dam rather than discussing ways to save the source of water and the Nile river basin.
In fact, the basin is very wide and covers 30% of Ethiopia’s total land area, and half of the country’s agricultural output comes from it. There are many policy gaps, which Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia should close with the help of GERD.
An estimated 90-95% of the population within the Abbay basin – a vast area that stretches from Jimma in southwestern Ethiopia in Oromia State to Tekezze River in the northwestern part of the country – depends on agriculture for the livelihoods. They lead a hand-to-mouth existence.
The most alarming moment is the land degradation is aggravated due to torrents created by the sloppiness within the basin resulting in considerable soil getting washed away to the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.