Ethiopian Water Minster says higher water levels in Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam due to recent heavy rainfall

Addis Getachew and Seleshi Tessema

Ethiopian TV apologizes for error in Nile dam reporting

Ethiopia’s state-owned broadcaster apologized on Thursday for “erroneous” reporting on the filling of the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

In a press conference in the capital on Wednesday, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation quoted water minister Seleshi Bekele as saying that construction of the dam and filling its reservoir “go hand in hand” and confirmed satellite images showing higher water levels in the reservoir were correct.

However, following the reports on his remarks, the minister said higher water levels were due to recent heavy rainfall — and not due to the conscious efforts to fill the dam.

The minister said 560 meters above sea level is the height required to hold 4.9 billion cubic meters of water Ethiopia needs to test two turbines as part of the construction.

The dam, he added, is capable of holding 74 billion cubic meters of water, and generate 6,475MW of electricity.

“We apologize for the misrepresentation we made in our report concerning the minister’s statement, and we resent having led international media houses to import the same error and disseminate that,” the ETV said.

While Sudan rejected the unilateral action, Egypt also sought clarification on the issue.

Ethiopia began building the dam in 2011 on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan.

The construction of the 147-meter (482 feet) high, 1.8-kilometer (1.1-mile) long project is expected to be completed by 2023.

The 2015 Declaration of Principles signed between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt provides that Ethiopia reserves a right to go on construction in parallel with negotiations on the dam’s filling and operation.

The three countries failed to reach an agreement on regulating water flow from the dam earlier this week.


  1. This was what I have been saying. Ethiopia was never its intention to do harm to its neighbors near or afar. But it’s enemies both internal and external have been working overtime to parade her as a pariah nation and this make up story that it has started filling the dam is the latest cooked up story. This should have been reported as just another flooding story, a story of Mother Nature doing her yearly chores. Those two citizens Obbo Selesi and Gedu could be you-can-stand-me-up-at-the-gates-of-hell patriots but they are typical Allah fearing humans with no vice intentions. I repeat! This is Mother Nature doing house cleaning! Hello!!!! Hello!!! Is somebody home in Al-Qahirah? Hello!!! I gave up!!!!!

  2. I do not understand the noise coming from Egypt , Sudan ,and terrorist medias. Why the Dam is built in the first place? Why Ethiopia needs Egypt’s permission to fill the dam? Egypt is dictating over Ethiopian river, ABAY. As promised, Ethiopia must fill the dam during this rainy season. The Ethiopian government must be assertive that Egypt and any government can not dictate over its projects built in its own territory. The so called international river law is formed to benefit the colonials and Arabs. It is known that the United Nation is been unreliable when it come to African issues. History told us that the UN had betrayed Ethiopia during Italian invasion because It was controlled by few dictators and it does not care for African at all.

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