Since Ethiopia, unlike the downstream countries, firmly believes in resolving the outstanding issues with regard to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), it has persistently continued negotiating, Irrigation and Energy Minister Sileshi Bekele said. Through the last negotiations and empathy for the two downstream countries, Ethiopia extended the filling of the dam 4 to 7 years, although it can be filled within three years as per the design, the minister told Al Jazeera Arabic.
According to him, scientist of the three countries have developed a stage-based filling mechanism which takes about 4 stages where the first stages have 2 stages, and in the second year the dam will be filled up to 595 meters that constitutes dead storage volume. Last year the filling happened for 4.9 billion cubic meters and another 13.4 billion cubic meters will be added in the subsequent year, Sileshi added.
Sileshi revealed that,
Ethiopia contributes 77 billion cubic meters but only takes this amount to fill its dam. So the Declaration of Principles articulates that the filling will happen while the dam construction continues. Filling of the dam is part of the construction.
The Declaration of Principles (DOP) is a principle not a guideline. A guideline is subordinate to the DOP that will provide an instrument on how to put these rules and guidelines in place so that when we fill the dam it will be according to certain rules, the minister elaborated.