July 28, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Ethiopia has just filled only four of the announced 13.5 billion cubic meters of water, said the Sudanese irrigation minister Yasir Abbas in a press conference on Wednesday.
On 19 July, Addis Ababa announced the completion of the second filling of the reservoir of its giant dam on the Blue Nile River without giving the exact volume of water stored during the operation.
Ethiopian experts however stated that Ethiopia failed to achieve the storage of 13.5 bcm pointing to technical difficulties facing the Italian company building the dam.
Water minister Abbas held a press conference flanked with experts and members of the Sudanese negotiating team to brief the meeting about the findings of their investigations about the second filling.
“On the 5th of this month, Sudan received an official letter from Ethiopia confirming that the filling for the second year would target 13.5 billion cubic meters of water, while in fact, they only filled 4 billion cubic meters,” said the minister.
He further stressed that the inaccurate information transmitted by the Ethiopian authorities would have led to a disaster. However, Sudan did take the necessary precautions and the water was drained according to predictions prepared by the Sudanese technical teams, he added.
Sudanese team extensively explained during the press conference how they used the hydrological data provided by satellites in their forecasting of water storage in the GERD.
The Sudanese minister predicted that the failure to store 13.5 bcm would lead Ethiopia to review its initial time frame for the filling of the huge dam.
Abbas Minister reiterated Sudan’s position calling to reach a legally binding agreement on filling and operation.
He further pointed to the need to adopt a new approach in the negotiations under the auspice of the African Union, stressing that the current approach of direct talks means losing time.