Keep the Renaissance Dam talks going

Keep the Renaissance Dam talks going

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Right now in Ethiopia a major project is going on, the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance hydroelectric dam. This dam will greatly improve the lives of the 100 million people who live in Ethiopia. This dam has been under construction since 2011 and its reservoir will have a 724 sq miles surface and it will be 460 ft deep at its deepest point. The reservoir will be bigger than the city of London. Right now 65% of Ethiopia’s population is not on the power grid and has to use generators for power. When the dam is finished it will have a maximum capacity of approximately 6000 megawatts.  This will allow  65% of their population to connect to the power grid. This dam will also provide much needed water through its reservoir. Also ,since the dam produces 6000 megawatts, they can sell the extra energy to the adjacent countries therefore helping their economy. Ethiopia has been deep in poverty and this dam will help them out of it.  

But there is a problem. Even though the dam will clearly help the 100 million people who live in Ethiopia, it may hurt the 100 million people who live in Egypt that rely on the Nile for their lives. Egypt is one of the driest countries on earth. The dam is being built on the blue Nile in Ethiopia, which supplies 80% of the main Nile’s water. Egypt is worried about how this dam will affect their people.  90% of Egypt’s drinking and irrigation water comes from the Nile and 95% of their people live on the Nile. Ethiopia needs to fill the reservoir of the dam and keep it filled to run the hydroelectric plant. This will slow and reduce the Nile’s water flow in Egypt. If Ethiopia fills the dam in the scheduled 4 years, the loss of water flowing through Egypt would cause more than 50% of their farmland to die. Even without the dams interference Egypt will face a water shortage by 2025. Egypt will also be affected because the river is their main way of transport and it is a large part of their culture. 

Why does this matter?

This issue matters because this is not the only problem we are going to have to face because of resource shortages.  Right now the world uses 1.7 earths worth of resources each year and that is only increasing. We need to start thinking of this globally and not just what may be best for our own community.  This is only one of many problems this world will be facing from resource shortages. We need to start working together to figure out how to deal with these problems. Ethiopia and Egypt need to set the example for the future generations and future problems that we will inevitably have to face. We should face those problems together and work to find solutions that will benefit us all.

On February 27th and 28th of 2020, there was supposed to be a meeting between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to try and reach an agreement about the dam. Unfortunately Ethiopia did not come to the meetings and there is concern that an agreement will not be reached. Tell all the countries to come back and make an agreement that benefits all of them. To do that they need to think about how to help all the people that will be affected by this, not just the ones in their own countries.

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