Oct 24 2012

 

 

Nile-river

For decades nations have battle over resources such as oil in order to protect their national interests. Last June, this site wrote a column on the approaching Water Wars. Now war is festering in Africa between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. This could lead to the first full fledge modern war over water but certainly not the last.

Egypt and the Sudan receives over 90% of their water from the Nile which flows from the Ethiopian highlands (see map). That nation is currently planning on building dams on the Blue Nile both for low cost energy and agriculture. That river supplies about 85% of the water that flows to Egypt.

The nations are still operating under ancient water agreements established while under colonial rule and the nations at the end of the Nile are refusing to review those agreements.

Egypt has reached agreement with North Sudan to build a small air field and base for commandos to destroy the dams. Ethiopia has the support of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya who also received the short end of the stick from the colonial agreements.

BusinessInsider.com reports in an article written by Michael Kelley and Robert Johnson:

Ethiopia became an even bigger threat a month after the Egyptian Revolution toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 when they announced new details about the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

In April of this year Bradley Hope of the The National reported that construction had begun and that the massive project "could destabilize Egypt in a way that would make the last year of political upheaval look minuscule."

"It would lead to political, economic and social instability," Mohamed Nasr El Din Allam, Egypt's minister of water and irrigation until early last year, told Hope. "Millions of people would go hungry. There would be water shortages everywhere. It's huge."