River Nile dam talks extended

Thursday January 30 2020

Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia on September 26, 2019. PHOTO | REUTERS


Talks to resolve a long-running dispute between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the fate of Africa’s largest hydropower project are continuing in Washington, US, a day after they were initially supposed to end.

The negotiators are still deadlocked over the finer details on how the $4 billion dam will operate, sources have told the BBC.

Technical details on the duration of the filling stages, the amount of water to be released downstream by Ethiopia and the quantity of water that will be retained in the reservoir being built are some of the bigger sticking points.

In addition, Egypt has demanded assurances over drought management once the dam becomes operational later this year.

A final deal was supposed to have been signed by 29 January following an earlier draft agreement that had been brokered by the US Treasury Department and the World Bank. It’s not clear yet how long the talks will continue for.