Ethoipia-(Berberanews)-Ethiopia has started producing energy for the first time from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a gigantic hydroelectric complex on the Nile River that Sudan and Egypt fear could result in serious water shortages downstream.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed turned on the mega-energy dam’s generators for the first time on Sunday, marking a watershed moment in the contentious multibillion-dollar project.
Abiy toured the power generation station with high-ranking officials, pressing a series of buttons on an electronic screen, which officials said started production.
The prime minister attempted to reassure neighboring countries that his government did not intend to undermine their interests.
“Ethiopia’s main objective is to deliver light to 60 percent of the population who are in the dark,” Abiy stated, “to save the labor of our mothers who carry wood on their backs to get energy.”
“As you can see, this water will generate energy while flowing to Sudan and Egypt as it did previously, contrary to rumors that the Ethiopian people and government are damming the river to starve Sudan and Egypt.”
Egypt’s foreign ministry, on the other hand, accused Ethiopia of “persisting in its violations” of a preliminary agreement made between the three countries in 2015, which forbade any of the parties from unilaterally using the river’s water.