What’s behind the Egypt-Ethiopia Nile dispute? | Start Here

Let’s talk about the Nile River and why Egypt and Ethiopia have been fighting over it. The problem is this dam
being built in Ethiopia. Once it’s finished it’ll be the most powerful hydroelectric dam in Africa. But Egypt says its supply of water is
in danger of drying up. After years of talks they’re
now saying they’re close to signing a deal on
how to share the water. But there are lots of details
that need to be worked out. So why has it been so hard
to end the battle for the Nile? Its official name is the Grand
Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. And it’s huge. When they’re done building it the reservoir will be bigger
than Greater London and cover almost 1,700 sq km. It’s pretty much the largest project the government has
ever embarked upon. The original cost of it was
around $5 billion. It will probably be significantly
more than that. But before we get into the dispute about the dam itself it helps to understand the Nile
basin and what’s at stake.
Eleven African countries are in it and 280 million people live there. The Nile is also, fun fact the only major river that
runs south to north. One of the river’s tributaries,
the Blue Nile starts off in Lake Tana in Ethiopia
and converges the White Nile in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

From there the Nile flows
downstream to Egypt. There are several dams along the way, including Egypt’s Aswan dam.
But Ethiopia is building its
power plant upstream right here on the border with Sudan. Now as the name Renaissance suggests this dam is supposed to revive Ethiopia’s economy. It’ll provide electricity to
millions of Ethiopians. And that’s big because right now more than two-thirds of the population aren’t connected to the grid. That’s about 75 million people. Over several years it will produce
6,000 megawatts. Ethiopia’s current generating capacity is only 4,000 megawatts. So this dam is also going to generate more power for Ethiopia than it needs meaning it can export electricity.
  That’s all very good news for Ethiopia. But if you ask Egypt this dam
will be catastrophic. The Nile has been at the centre of Egyptian life for millenia. An entire ancient civilisation
was built around it and relied on the river for
transport and irrigation. And that’s still the case today. The country relies on the Nile
for almost all of its water. It’s a rain-starved, largely
desert country. So obviously any potential interruptions to the flow of the Nile is justifiably of huge concern for Egypt. Egypt controls most of the
flow of the River Nile into its country, at least for now. Egypt’s biggest worry is how quickly Ethiopia will fill the reservoir. And our colleagues at Al Jazeera Labs have studied a few scenarios.
Say Ethiopia agrees to fill the reservoir over the next 10 years. AJ Labs says that would cut
Egypt’s water supply by 14% and destroy 18% of its farmland. If Ethiopia fills the dam more
quickly, say over seven years one-third of Egypt’s
farmland would be lost. And a five-year window would
destroy half of that land. According to their simulations this
is how the Egyptian delta would change over those 10 years. So Ethiopia’s best-case scenario filling the dam as soon as possible is Egypt’s worst nightmare. It’s no wonder these negotiations
have been tough. It was during the Arab Spring in 2011 while Egypt had a revolution
on its hands that Ethiopia started building the dam. Ever since then Egyptian leaders
have tried to stop the project and military conflict never seemed far. “Last year, Ethiopia accused Egypt of sending rebels to neighbouring Eritrea to sabotage the dam, prompting another Nile-sharing country Sudan, to send its troops to its border.”
In 2018 the operating manager
of the Ethiopian dam Simegnew Bekele, was found dead. “Bekele’s sudden death drew crowds and raised suspicions.” It was reported he’d been shot in broad daylight which led to protests. But in the end the authorities said Bekele took his own life. In 2019 Ethiopia’s prime minister,
Abiy Ahmed, even said: “…no force could stop Ethiopia from building a dam. If there is a need to go to war we
could get millions readied. If some could fire a missile,
others could use bombs.” This is ultimately an age-old debate about who owns the Nile. In 1929 Egypt signed a treaty with Britain, a colonial power in Africa at the time, that basically guarantees its access to the Nile and gave Egypt a veto over construction
projects on the river. But Ethiopia didn’t sign that treaty. Then in 1999 all the Nile basin countries, including Egypt and Ethiopia signed an agreement on
managing water. But that deal was compromised in 2010 when six of those countries decided
to draw up another treaty. This time Egypt rejected it because it threatened its historic rights to water. It’s Egypt’s concern that if it moves into It’s Egypt’s concern that if it moves into then it will be left short
of water resources and also its control over the situation will be massively reduced. And as far as Sudan goes it’s sort
of caught in the middle. Egypt is Sudan’s political ally but the government supports
the Renaissance dam because it’ll be a source of
affordable energy and it will help regulate flooding. The good news is that Egypt,
Ethiopia and Sudan are in talks with one another. The bad news is that they still haven’t answered the tough questions. Questions like, when there’s a drought will Ethiopia consider Egypt’s needs? And when is a drought a drought? Those conversations will
only get tougher because more dams are being planned populations are growing and
the climate is changing. All of which will make the Nile
and the supply of water increasingly worth fighting over.

100 thoughts on “What’s behind the Egypt-Ethiopia Nile dispute? | Start Here

  1. "And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the rivers shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded. And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish. Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt. The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof. The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do. In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which he shaketh over it. And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which he hath determined against it. In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."

    – Isaiah 19:5-25

  2. Egypt if she get a chance she want to control our own water we don't control her oil simple as that all this time she use she never appreciate every time she want to put down Ethiopia that's not this time it's not going to happen

  3. Every Ethiopian people paid to build this dum this is our blood most of our peoples we have no electric city we have no clean water did she care Egypt no she don't she care about only herself how selfish she is people should know no one can stop us to build the dam

  4. Why? its called greed and exploitation and why are all the bible disputes being recreated in the Middle East countries? The funders of the projects in Africa will own the enterprises that is one way of colonial system! Africans ruled the world once, it was all taken way from them, do your research people and learn from your mistakes and stop looking for rescuers or foreigners for your answers.

  5. It's time for Donald Trump to step into this dispute and negotiate a deal between Ethiopia and Egypt. Because Donald Trump is the greatest president of all time and the best deal negotiator ever.

  6. Does anyone know the name of the host? Anyone know her Ig or twitter account? I really need it…… 😍😍😍

  7. Have been following "Start Here" more or less from the beginning and am pretty happy with its smart and crisp to the point description of any issue. Great Going and am optimistic about this programme.

  8. Egyptians deserve this catastrophe which will soon befall them. They betrayed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and as a result will face the severest punishment from God. I wouldn't shed a single tear if those ungrateful and tyrant-worshipping nation dies of starvation and poverty.

  9. Sorry Ethiopia, but we can't let you destroy our economy for you to generate electricity. There are countless other way for you to generate power, but only one Nile.
    (And before any dumb idiot says "we don't tell you what to do with your oil", we DON'T HAVE any, and besides that the Nile is shared between us.)

  10. You know what if the Nile water came from Egypt the don't care about Ethiopia and they build 3 times bigger than (EGRD) . Arab doesn't want to see any black countries development …..no more soil that what u guy's scare alright time has an answer .wait for it we gonna start a new progect soon on Nile water.
    Ethiopia ,sudan, Somalia, Kenya Eritrea will rise together. we have a lot to share ….the power will shift to east Africa ……..😆😆😆😆

  11. The collective IQ of this comment section doesn't exceeds a single-digit number. I've truely read the most ridiculous, biased, and idiotic "solutions".

  12. Egypt wants people to keep buying oil and support the American Jewish dollars and billionaires

  13. It is so hard to be beefing with Ethiopia. First it is the capital of Africa Union. Second, is is so easy to like, unlike Egypt which is easy to hate. 99% of Africans outside Egypt supports Ethiopia in this matter.

  14. If there is a war then Egypt will lose everything because that will ensure the construction of thae the dam without even a second thought about what happens to Egypt

  15. Ethopia is aggressively blocking the river nile into darkness, Southan&egypt will serve starvation.

  16. احببت الفيديو ♥ تفاصيل و فيديو حول تحطم مروحية كوبي على قناتي 😢

  17. For years egypt enjoyed the nile to herself. Egypy has two dams to reserve water for their needs. Ethiopia have suffered famine in their land because of lack of water. Have egypt suffered famine lately because of lack of water. Ethiopia is entitled to their share of water if anybody is. I didn't see arabs children running around with swollen stomachs dying from famine. Ethiopia must stand strong against tyranny in getting their rightful share of the water that begins in their land. It is their God given right which no one can deny them of! Their is plenty of water in the white nile still running. Cry babies! Why do egypt believe that they are entiled yo get all the water that they want, but not Ethiopia?

  18. It's no one's interest to have a war for water. Our African brothers please sit and talk. How about when there is a wet season accumulate water. Dry season release water from dam.

  19. The nile river was created by God to benefit all countries that the river flows through. Egypt must stop being greedy because the river is not theirs to control.

  20. What about the repayment of the humongous dam debt? It will create economic crisis.

  21. We are ready Egypt bring what you got… I will quit my high paying job just to go to war for ABYE Our own River…

  22. Nile is a gift from God, originated from Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania, Ethiopian needs energy for industrialisation programs, agriculture and social used
    This issue should be ratified, Amicably within themselves without resulted into war.

  23. Egypt must buy a single nuclear warhead and drop it to ethiuipia.. im sure they cant survive it

  24. These arabs needs to STFU and leave Egypt. Egypt is not their land, somewhere in arabia they find their arabic land they originate from

  25. The real Egyptians are the modern-day Sudanese who are these imposters claiming to be the Gyptian

  26. How do you think Iraq feels about Turkey !
    Without water from Eastern Turkey Iraq rivers will dry up

  27. This video would have been better if she would have continued getting up and moving to different chairs every few minutes for no reason.

  28. i dont see Ethiopia doing any bad. It cant keep its citizens in poverty for forever for the sake of other nation.

  29. Al Jazeera is dangerously unprofessional media. (Well, what do I expect its Egypt's media😃.) Abiy Ahmed won Nobel peace prize: He is regarded as a messenger of God for peace by many. He never suggested war. For Egypt is contemplating opening war, they want to twist Abiy Ahmed's speech for their evilness. It is Extremely unhuman of Egypt's leaders to want to open a war with such a peaceful country for using their own water. If Egypt do any harm to Ethiopia, it will surely be the End for Egyptians on so many levels.


  31. This dam is being financed by China ! China is now controlling Africa their way ! France already got the boot from African leaders who have been bribed by China to sell off their countries

  32. Why build such a large dam? Build one that will produce enough electric with out over restricting water.

  33. Egypt can join their fellow Arabs in adopting DESALINATION of Ocean water. With growing Population in Sub-Saharan Africa, Irrigation farming itself will stop the flow of the Nile in the future.

  34. You gayes do not take about war,this is modern centrey,round of the table discuss and solve the problem, for Ethiopian all wester and Arab canterey never think about positivity, this dam for Ethiopian people life,please all professional journalist do not incourage war.

  35. Building the dam might hurt Egypt's farm land by 18, 33, 50% but hurts poor Ethiopians by 100%.
    One the issue of the Nile River Egypt does not contribute anything to Ethiopioa except fomenting violence and sending armed rebels to Ethiopia while Ethiopia kept on giving life to Egypt. The rain, water, soil all originates from Ethiopia. Egypt is greedy and so unreasonable.

  36. The FIGHT is rooted within the Colonial Wedge than Divided the African Family into separate Factions leading to disputes and WARS  {Hosted by the Colonizers on either side!}

  37. انا اتكلام فؤ سلام في كل علم في سلام في كا علم我1是不全六语立案个贵unitednatiinsnatonsорпанизацияобнднннвйнациnscionesunifas

  38. We need an biased information…nile is a trassure of african countries not only egypt

  39. some centuries ago the spelling of Egypt & Ethiopia was ALIKE, one & the same. The Nile don't separate them, it unites, making both shores place of plenty.

  40. I think it's important to note that Egypt has 5x the Purchasing Power Parity Gross Domestic Product Per Capita. They're a lot richer so maybe they can shoulder the responsibility of making water use more efficient and seeking other sources like desalination

  41. Trees chemically seed the clouds, as well as increasing humidity. If there was an international afforestation project in the Nile Basin it could mean more water to go around

  42. I think that seawater hydroelectric in the Qattara depression and Lake Assal would be good, not just for the renewable energy produced but to create humidity for the nile basin and the sahel

  43. Even if Ethiopia fills up its new Dam very slowly over a period of 10 years (which is the most ideal), it will still destroy about 20% of Egypt's agriculture (much lower compared to 50% loss if Ethiopia fills it over 5 years).

    Ethiopia needs to take measures to also minimize water loss through evaporation (e.g. shade) to maximize its water holding capacity.

    Otherwise, there will be war. Egypt doesn't even need to invade Ethiopia, all it needs to do is launch missiles or send special squads to destroy the dam. Ethiopia will be the one who needs to invade Egypt to stop the attacks. This will be much more expensive for Ethiopia than to Egypt.

  44. It just does not make any sense to stop Ethiopia building this dam. It has all the right to do whatever they want in their boundary. Egypt is being so selfish for years to come while Ethiopia is being hungry for power for economic development now.

  45. I read an article in National Geo about this, which showed the many who will be impoverished in the resulting desertification. In erosion technology, we have a saying. EVERYTHING is downstream. Damning the Nile seems almost sacrosanct….

  46. Egyptian are in a strategic military place but a wrong place for living. If the only drinking water they crave to drink is the Nile why don't they start applying for asylum to Ethiopia? In that way they will quench thier thirst for nile water.

  47. 0:07 Shut up looool, Ethiopia, those skinny people looking like tree branches fighting hahahahahhaha

  48. Ethiopia has been positive since January 2020 treated as brothers and sisters of Egyptian now Egypt want force to stop from building the dam then Ethiopian r ready to fight against Nile , my opinion the war never stop building the dam and the rest two countries in future use hate each other
    Let’s build Africa unity and don’t fight for the world to laugh

  49. Both as bad as each other. ….
    Starrrrrt Shooting !!
    No great loss to humanity.

  50. The grand Ethiopian Renaissance is now complete and producing clean electricity

  51. What about Ob, Lena, Yenisey, Rhine- they all are major rivers that flow North.

  52. Brilliant series taking us, to topics western media would never talk about, thank you for the highlights. Obviously, these things are conflicted, thus tricky to talk about, but I hink you do a pretty good job at staying objective.

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