From the Advaita victory to the founding of the African Union (OAO) and many other continental victories, Ethiopia continues to provide examples that promote a sense of Africanism. The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is also an indication of its contributions to the values of Pan-Africanism. In addition to supplying electricity to Ethiopia, the dam can regulate the ecosystem in the region as well as control flooding in the lower basin states.
Conservation of natural resources is fundamental to the development of a country. The country has been exposed to various disasters such as destruction of resources, land misuse, degradation, landslides, climate change and desertification.
There is also a risk of mine destruction due to misuse of natural resources. Protecting and conserving natural resources, however, will increase green cover for desertification and flood prevention, in addition to ensuring productivity. Various activities have been carried out so far in accordance with the special instructions of the Government to conserve the deforested lands.
Accordingly, each year the degraded land was covered with a variety of plant species (in millions. This is twice the country’s forest population compared to last year. Soil conservation is done in various ways to protect and increase the lifespan of other water bodies.
Climate change is affecting every sector around the world. Developing countries like Ethiopia do not have the ability or adaptability to adapt and are highly vulnerable to climate change. Ethiopia established a climate-friendly green development strategy in 2012.
The Green Development Strategy has been hailed by many as a way to tackle future climate change. As a renewable and clean energy mechanism, GERD will make Ethiopia a major contributor to global carbon mitigation efforts.
As a country with a strong commitment and champion of green economic development, the environmental aspect of the dam has been crucial for Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been concerned about environmental impacts since the beginning of the project. Getty Selek (Dr) is the Director General of the Center for Water and Land Resources at the University of Addis Ababa and the environmental impact of the dam.
He told the Ethiopian Herald that it would not have a significant impact on the environment, adding that “it (the dam) has a different dynamic and is positive for me.” The benefits of the entire project are designed to be eco-friendly and maximize the benefits of the Nile. Dr. Gate says the dam is advantageous. First, it regulates water and retains water in an area where the evaporation rate is nominal. Water runoff (during the period from June to September) carries a large amount of silt and silt and this will no longer be a major problem once the dam is completed.
Sudan’s reservoirs, the Roseires and Sennar dams, have small storage volumes, so water flows rapidly across the country. Therefore, Sudan is not a beneficiary of water (river). After the construction of the Aswan Dam, a large reservoir, Egypt could store and use the water. However, when water is regulated, once the GERD is completed, the volume of annual water loss from evaporation is greatly reduced (saved), i.e. about 13 billion cubic meters of water.
Egypt also benefits from the dam as a result of regulated inflows into the country. According to the Director General, Sudan is the largest beneficiary of the three countries. Also, when Sudan was hit by severe flooding during the rainy season, hundreds of thousands of its people were even displaced by some deaths, which will help prevent it once the dam is completed, Dr. Gate said.
It retains the sediment, the clean water goes in there, and it saves the cost that Sudan paid to clean the sediment. The benefits of regulating water are enormous.
The other thing to do is to work to reduce pollution (natural resource management) in the upper Nile basin. By doing so, it is possible to reduce (reduce) the amount of sediment in the dam and also increase the life of the dam.
“From our calculations, by doing this and actually assessing its structures, we can extend the lifespan of the dam to 375 years without any problems and without a drop in power generation.” In this way we can preserve it for generations to come. However, the lifespan of the dam will not exceed 100 years if landslides and pollution continue in the upper basin.
Therefore, since a wide range of infrastructure is required for the development of the basin, soil and water conservation activities should be carried out in a sustainable manner, giving priority to the upper basin area and not in a campaign; It calls for farmers to take ownership and allocate a large budget for it. He concluded that the government should also facilitate the involvement of all stakeholders and experts in the field in this endeavor.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) regulates the flow of the Nile and reduces the risk of flooding and sedimentation in the lower rivers, said Samuel Degalo, director of the Arba Minch University Water Resources Research Center.
The director told the local media that regulating floods and pollution would benefit the countries where the dam is receding, especially Sudan.
“The dam will regulate water flow, reduce flood risk and sedimentation. Occasional deaths, dangerous flood mitigation, large-scale displacement and loss of property in Sudan.
For example, in August and September 2021, more than 314,000 people were affected by heavy rains and floods in Sudan. The director said that since GRD was built to generate electricity, whether Ethiopia likes it or not, it will benefit countries at the bottom of the dam. Despite the mutual benefits of the dam, the issue has recently been heavily politicized by Sudan, which has recently been skillfully led by Egypt.
“This is more politics than technology … but the politics of today’s sport will not help. Nature and politics do not go together,” he explained, adding that the Egyptians wanted to maintain their dominance over the river’s historic water use. And the Sudanese follow Egypt.
“The fact is that Sudanese experts are well aware of the benefits of the dam. However, the Egyptians want to maintain an average of 55.5 billion cubic meters of water, and the Sudanese are following suit.
The Director of the Research Center requested the researchers to educate the relevant stakeholders on the technical issues at the dam and the winning approach to take advantage of the dam. He emphasized the need to protect the Nile Basin, especially upstream and downstream countries, in order to co-operate with and support Ethiopia.
Ethiopia declared a few years ago that while the dam would not cause significant harm to Egypt or Sudan, it would benefit countries by removing 86 percent of the sedimentary weight and regulating the flow that allows for reliable water supply at all times.
Achieving GERD will enable many (60-70 percent) Ethiopians to clean up their energy and reduce their carbon emissions from the destruction of firewood requirements. Efforts to mitigate climate change have global perspectives, and in this regard, Ethiopia’s efforts should be commended and supported by the international community.
Carbon compensation should be used to reduce stress on forest resources and expand forest plantation and watershed management practices. Ethiopia’s efforts to build GERD go beyond mere energy generation, but also international carbon aggregation and climate change mitigation.
From this point of view, GERD should receive global relief and support, not international sabotage. In Ethiopia, a single house that relies on firewood for its energy needs removes an average of 0.3 acres of forest land each year. The dam sets an example to African countries that the ultimate solution to economic and political progress is their own efforts without relying on others.