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Sudan: Avoiding Renaissance Dam second filling’s impact done at a “very big” cost

The Director of the General Department of Nile Water at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Abdel Rahman Saghiroun, attributed the large increase in the levels of the Blue Nile during the last week of July, to moving from passing water through the two Renaissance Dam gates with a capacity of less than 100 million cubic meters per day, to passing the river’s water through the middle lane at a rate of 300 to 500 million cubic meters per day.

AlTaghyeer: Sara Taj al-Sir

Saghiroun explained in statements made to AlTaghyeer that the current increase in the revenues of the Blue Nile is a result of rains in the Ethiopian plateau.

He pointed out that Sudan succeeded in mitigating the effects of the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, at a very large economic, social and environmental cost, and acknowledged that any mobilization of the dam that takes place without exchanging information within a binding legal agreement, negatively affects the dam system operations in Sudan.

Saghiroun also noted the smallness of Sudanese reservoirs compared to the Renaissance Dam, which is reported to be capable of holding 74 billion cubic meters of water.

The Nile water general department director indicated that this negatively affects the safety and livelihoods of the residents of the banks of the Blue Nile, the Main Nile, large agricultural projects, and electricity generation.

He stressed that the precautions taken by his country to avoid the effects of the second filling required changing the operating systems of a number of dams and reservoirs.

The measures included the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile, and the Jebel Awliya Dam on the White Nile.

He stated that the operating systems of Roseires and Jebel Awliya have remained stable since their establishment in 1965 and 1937, respectively.

Protocols for the Flood

Saghiroun indicated that the change that began last March, with the reservation of additional water to meet the shortage during the second filling period in July/August, had a negative impact on the lives of citizens in front and behind these dams and on electric power generation.

The Nile water official added that his ministry applies a certain protocol when it comes to operating special reservoirs that include intensifying metrological and hydrological monitoring, operating early warning systems, preparing daily bulletins regarding the flood situation, forecasting and distributing forecasts to the competent authorities.

The head of the flood committee at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Abdul Rahman, said in a daily statement concerned with the flood situation that the Roseires – Sennar and Shendi – Atbara sectors will witness stability, while the Sennar – Khartoum sector will rise at a rate of 8 cm, as well as the Atbara – Meroe sector, which is set to rise at a rate of 4 cm.

He renewed his call to citizens in all sectors to take the necessary precautions.

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