NEWS- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia urged Egypt and Sudanese people to help its country’s efforts to make Nile River water flow sustainable. He argued that if there are no trees, there is no rain and “if no rain no, no water in the Nile River”.
“The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) benefits both Egypt and Sudan,” Prime Minister Abiy said, commenting on the ongoing Nile River related disputes with Egypt and the Sudan. “In Ethiopia today in the 21st century over 50 million people do not have access to electricity. Unbelievably, our mothers are still bending their backbones (spinal cords) carrying firewood every day to send their children to school,” Abiy said, indicating that Ethiopia is building the GERD on its own to change the lives of these people.
“When we said let us end the bending of the backbones of our mothers, and let us have electric energy. This is a basic right. It is not harming others,” Prime Minister Abiy said on Monday, responding to the questions raised by the members of parliament.
“…98 percent of our Egyptian brothers have access to electricity. We want to grow and come out of this tragedy on our own… If there is anyone in the neighborhood and far, who has sympathy for these people, let it come forward and help our effort to change this situation. But If they can’t be able to help, let them leave us alone…We can struggle to grow on our own effort,” Abiy said, calling on Egyptians and Sudanese people to help Ethiopia’s ongoing effort of planting 20 billion trees in four years.
Prime Minister Abiy indicated that the 20 billion seedlings planting program of Ethiopia aims to make sustainable and predictable the flows of river streams into the Nile River. “…If there is no rain, there is no water that flows into the Nile River,” he said.
Last year this time around Ethiopia has planted four billion trees during the three months of rainy season. The government said 84 percent of the trees planted have grown. As part of the second year target of the 20 billion tree seedling planting program, Prime Minister Abiy has launched five billion tree planting this week in Southern part of the country.
“If our neighbors are wise let them come and help us in planting trees. If there is no forest and rain, there is no Nile River,” Abiy said.
Prime Minister Abiy’s statement came at the time tension between Egypt and Ethiopia has been escalating over the latter’s plan to start filling the GERD this rainy season, which begins in July.
Sudan, which recently expressed its concern about the safety of GERD, being built by Ethiopia near Sudan border, has changed its mind indicating that “GERD is safer than the dams built in Sudan and Egypt so far.” The comment is made on Saturday evening by the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Professor Yasir Mohamed, according to the Middle East Monitor report.
Ethiopia contributes 86 percent of water to the Nile River, which travels about 6,600 milometers through Sudan and Egypt before ending up in the Mediterranean Sea.