Skip to comments.The Chinese-funded dam project in Africa may lead to regional instability
Posted on 01/20/2021 6:30:31 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A potentially dangerous regional war may be developing in Northeast Africa thanks to the Chinese-funded Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). It seems that, wherever people grab onto Chinese money, despair follows.
The Nile is the longest river in Africa and may be the longest in the world. (The Amazon competes with it for that title.) While Egypt’s historic prominence means that most people instinctively associate the Nile with that country, the great river actually runs through eleven nations. The White Nile begins in Rwanda or Burundi, flowing north through Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan. The Blue Nile begins in Ethiopia, flowing north into Sudan, where it joins White Nile at Khartoum. The main river itself then flows into Egypt, ending at the Mediterranean. (The other nations it touches are Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania.)
The almost-completed GERD project spans the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, and will ultimately hold 74 billion cubic meters of water. Filling the dam started last summer and could take as many as 15 years to complete. The dam’s purpose is electricity. The $5 billion project (which includes $1.2 billion in financing from China) will ultimately bring millions of Ethiopians into the 21st century.
That sounds laudable, but the Egyptians and Sudanese are extremely worried:
The Chinese-financed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), despite a recent breakdown in talks on Africa’s largest development project, risks powering up a range of downstream tensions and rivalries.
These run from rising rivalry between Egypt and Ethiopia to a festering border war between Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan. At stake, too, is the future of almost 90% of the water in Nile River, the world’s longest waterway.
Egypt, where millions depend on the river for their livelihoods, considers control of the Nile an “existential” issue. Sudan, meanwhile, fears the GERD may seriously endanger its own dams,
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
China is investing in poor nations all over the world. These investments seem altruistic, but somehow they never turn out that way. Its Belt and Road Initiative, by which it funds infrastructure projects in poorer nations the world over, puts those nations in China’s debt.
Those who are worried about this debt essentially see China doing something similar to the scam that the robber barons of the gilded age carried out: The companies would have stores that would give employees credit. However, the company would never pay the employees a sufficient salary to enable them to get out of debt. That debt meant the employees were trapped working for the company forever, at starvation wages, with terrible working conditions.
Without the dam Ethiopia faces periodic starvation. The dam is only a problem to Egypt while it is filling up. Etheopia gas offered to set up a three nation commission to manage the water flow and power distribution. Egypt thinks they own all the warer and has refused to negotiate. This is a problem that can be resolved but for Egyptian recalcitrance.
China has made no secret of its intention and actions meant to dominate farmland and mineral rich Africa to the greatest extent possible. Simple technique. They bribe corrupt African officials to sign contracts for “aid projects” which are actually high interest loans, demand repayment which comes in the form of overt economic domination and exploitation. These policies and the creeping Chinese domination of Africa will eventually be overtly challenged by the West especially the United States. Its the most likely place that Biden will build up American forces which will soon be in conflict with Chinese surrogates. Get ready for another endless war. American blood will be sacrificed and material wealth squandered.
Belt and Road Initiative is basically meant to help move millions of Chinese out of China and expand into other countries. The rest is just window dressing.
Why didn’t the EPA come down on THAT idea?
Generating electric power by dams. How politically incorrect. I would have thought that the UN and the US environmentalists would have insisted that Ethopia use only windmills and solar collectors to develop and move into the 21st century.
It seems that hydro dams and coal fired plants are still needed to modernize a country and provide relatively inexpensive and RELIABLE electrical energy.
“Egypt thinks they own all the warer and has refused to negotiate. This is a problem that can be resolved but for Egyptian recalcitrance.”
Doesn’t matter, at this point. Egypt has 100M people now, and 98% (or whatever) of their water is from the Nile. If a ‘solution’ to this issue is not found, it’s difficult to see Egypt (or any other government in a similar situation) not go to war.
Yeah, that Three Gorges Dam is holding up so well.
It is quite possible that the US refused funding due to those “environmental concerns”. The Chinese have no such precious scruples.
Egypt needs only to review the control of Klamath water.
Exactly. But now China will have more political and economic influence and power in that region.
Naser wanted to built the Aswan dam; the U.S. opposed it; the USSR supported it. Guess who had more influence in that part of the Near East for many years.
The dam can be completely filled in anywhere from three to ten years. Obviously, Ethiopia, which faces periodic famine due to drought, would like it sooner. Ethiopia has offered to share the power generated with Sudan and Egypt. If I recall, Israel has offered to help Egypt with the water problem, probably by building desalinization plants. Egypt does have several options that will minimize the impact, but the government simply wants to keep things the way they are now. When the British controlled the headwaters they agreed to not dam the river, giving Egypt veto power over any projects. That was nearly a century ago.
If the Ethiopian government does not fill up the dam, then they will probably be replaced by a government that will. The present government has been, apparently, very reasonable. But they have also placed anti-air weapons around the dam and they have to answer to people who face starvation. (I looked at photos of the antiair weapons. Egypt probably wouldn’t lose any planes to them. However, bombing a dam that has been more than a decade in development would probably cause them diplomatic headaches. Also, it’s entirely possible that trying to destroy it and failing would be a disaster.)
If cutting off the flow of water into another country is a cause of war, you should see the Rio Grande as it goes into Mexico. See the link.
When was the last time something happened in Africa that didn’t lead to regional instability?
A s hole with a dam is still a s hole.
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