South Sudan Says GERD Won’t Have Negative Impact, Catalyst for Regional Integration

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South Sudan Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, General Kong Tiptip Gatluak, said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will not have negative impact on downstream countries and is instrumental for regional energy integration.

A high-level delegation led by Presidential Advisor, General Kong Tiptip Gatluak, along with senior security and civil officials has visited today the construction site of renaissance dam.

After the visit, the presidential advisor told ENA as saying: “we have seized this opportunity to visit the construction site of GERD and proved the dam has not had any negative impact.”

Gatluak added this dam is going to have its lion’s share for the  integration of the East African region through the supply of  electricity.

“After witnessing the GERD’s construction site, we found that the dam is a large project and can provide all neighboring countries with electricity….we have really seen a very big job.”

In order to accelerate the connectivity of the region with power, the advisor said Ethiopia has already started to sell electricity  to Djibouti, Sudan;  and Kenya will follow suit soon.

In this regard, GERD, a hydropower project built on the Abbay River, will have a huge impact, he mentioned.

 The advisor finally urged Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to reinforce the trilateral negotiation on GERD.  

Minister of Defense Abraham Belay said on his part that the construction of the Renaissance Dam is a project not only for Ethiopia but also for Africans, especially for neighboring countries.

“The dam we are building is not only for Ethiopia but also for Africa….Rumors about the dam and the reality on the ground are totally different. The countries of the river basin should also understand that this dam ensures mutual benefit. For instance, our Grand Renaissance Dam has two bottom-outlets for the purpose of downstream countries so that they can get water in the entire year.”

Abraham, who is also Chairman of GERD Board of Directors, pointed out that Ethiopia has started supplying electricity to Sudan and Djibouti. He added it will also start to supply electricity to Kenya soon.

As South Sudan has made a request for energy supply from Ethiopia, Abraham pledged: “Ethiopia will provide it.”

Despite the fact that the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is being built through the perseverance of Ethiopians alone, the project benefits the countries in the basin, he underscored.

Ethiopia has also considered the downstream countries in the process of building the dam, he said adding that “we have made two wide bottom outlets in which water flows throughout the year.”

According to the minister, the downstream countries will in the mean time realize that the dam is a common development project for it is so designed from the outset.

He also mentioned that Ethiopia’s enemies from abroad and at home tried to prevent the supply of essential inputs for GERD before the country had successfully attained the third phase of water filling.

Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Service, Temeseng Tiruneh said on his part Ethiopia has successfully generated power from GERD and completed third filling in the hardest time of its history.

According to him, tremendous attacks from internal and outside  of the country were foiled  by the rigorous efforts of the security and intelligence  forces of Ethiopia.

“Until this project reached at this significant juncture, numerous attacks were tried by bandits sent from abroad. With this, we were able to thwart many evil deeds of destructive forces.

The Director General also stated that the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam has been a testimony for Africans that they can use their resources on their own capacity.