The conflict and discussions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have never been more heated. It is widely known that the entire Egyptian civilization started thousands of years ago based on the Nile, being an unlimited source of water supply for the population and lands.
Nowadays, Egypt is a country populated by over +100 million individuals with a total requirement of 100-120 billion cubic meters of water per year.
Egyptian politicians have initially stepped down the old share of Egypt in Nile basin countries’ agreement which specifies at least +55 billion cubic meters of water to Egypt. This step allowed the Ethiopian part to walk away during the negotiations several times since they are no longer tied to the regional agreement and they have nothing to lose.
Now, as Ethiopia moves towards the second part of filling this GERD dam, this 2nd filling will significantly decrease the water supplies to Sudan and Egypt. Even if Egypt is able to compensate for the water share by securing other alternative sources, the inflicted damages to the Egyptian lands around the Nile, the agriculture, agricultural industry, and Egyptian food supplies are irreparable.
When people step down their rights (albeit temporarily or assuming goodwill), they give all the power to the other side. And if this step is not met by goodwill, it subsequently results in unfair damages. Ethiopian PM announces the country plans for 100 extra (mid to small) dams in the upcoming year which signals the bad intentions.
The conflict over the Nile water has become no longer an issue of negotiation, agreement, or dis*agreement. Sometimes, the behaviors of your negotiators leave no space for good intentions and at this moment, acting on the goodwill is coward weak insecure behavior. The conflict over the Nile water is an issue of dignity and sovereignty. These things are not given and we should not expect them to give us the dignity and sovereignty that we deliberately gave up assuming the goodwill.
M. K. Ataturk said, “Sovereignty is not given, it is taken”.
For my entire life, I have never supported the war and I always prioritize peaceful solutions, however, from my POV, the current conflict over the Nile water can only be solved by military intervention. This is the only viable option to settle the current conflict for now and forever.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and do not necessarily represent anyone or any organization that I’m working in, working with, or affiliated with.