Destabilizing Egypt; Ethiopia’s Nile River Dam

By thomas mountain

Ethiopia’s new “ Grand Renaissance Dam”, scheduled to be completed

next year, will take close to half (40%) of the Nile River’s water

every year for the next 5 years as it fills up. How is Egyptian

President Al Sisi going to survive for the next 5 years without almost

half the Nile’s water when the country is presently suffering serious

water and hydroelectric shortages, never mind crippling inflation,

growing hunger and a terrorist insurgency?
So far the world thinks that somehow, some way, Egypt, almost 100

million people and growing, already on shaky ground economically, will

find a way to survive something that the country has not faced in over

two thousand years, almost a half less water from the river Nile for 5

years straight. And what if a drought hits the Ethiopian highlands,

the source of the Nile River, with chances are this happening at least

once in the next 5 years with the accelerating global warming trend,

and Egypt loses over half of its water?
If international opinion turns out to be wrong, and that cutting

Egypt’s water by nearly half for 5 years is not survivable, then an

enormous explosion is brewing in Egypt, the Arab world’s biggest

country, this huge explosion being brought about by the construction

of Ethiopia’s massive dam generating 6,000 MW of electricity,

something that Ethiopia doesn't even have the infrastructure to use.

If Ethiopia can’t even distribute this new source of electricity for

its people to use due to an almost complete absence of any national

power grid, let alone local level infrastructure, than why has the

country gone so deeply into debt to build a dam that will do so much

damage to its northern neighbor, Egypt?
Those in the know are asking this question, for a potential

catastrophe could be in the making in Egypt with a hunger driven

popular explosion of rage against the rule of President Al Sisi and

fundamentally threaten the Egyptian military’s ability to hold the

country together. As in Syria and Iraq, ISIS is sure to take advantage

of the resulting chaos to spread its insurgency across the country and

all of this could lead to an Egyptian failed state situation.

Such a scenario has directed attention towards the likelihood of the

Egyptian military attacking Ethiopia’s new dam if the situation starts

to deteriorate domestically. Cutting the Niles water will be a

devastating blow to Egypts ability to feed itself and cutting off its

ability to produce food for export causing the loss of desperately

needed foreign currency.
Will the Egyptian people be able to endure such a dramatic increase in

their hunger and hardships for 5 years without an inevitable

explosion? Will Al Sisi be able to hold the Egyptian military together

and prevent the government from collapsing as a result of such a major

water shortage and inevitable mass hunger?
The origins of the very idea of Ethiopia daming the Nile are found at

the World Bank, majority owned by the USA. The World Bank, whose

policy for many disastrous decades was to push dam construction in

some of the most vulnerable areas of the planet was the first to raise

the “grand dam” idea, to harness the waters of biblical proportions

for a “Greater Ethiopia”.
The problem, again, is that 70% of Ethiopians don’t have access to

government electricity, almost 70 million people. The Ethiopian

government has gone so deeply into debt building this new 6,000 MW dam

there is nothing left over to build the electrical distribution

network the country so desperately needs. So all that new electric

power will not go towards uplifting the lives of Ethiopians, “for a

Greater Ethiopia”, but be sold on the East African market to pay the

onerous debt incurred in building the damn thing.
The needs of Ethiopia for many years in the future could have been met

by building a series of smaller, much less expensive dams that would

not cause such a drastic interference in the Nile River’s flow.

Yet thanks to the World Banks persistence, Ethiopia went ahead with

its “grand dam” and the result could be an explosion of popular anger

in Egypt that could threaten much of the worlds economy, being that

Egypt controls the Suez Canal, through which the largest trading

partners in the world, Asia and Europe, do 90% of their business. It

is Egyptian troops, whose salaries are paid for by the USA, that

control the Suez Canal and if the Egyptian military loses control of

the country in a popular uprising similar to which brought down

Mubarak, than the continued reliability of the army to control the

Suez Canal comes into question. Of course, there is always the Israeli

Army waiting in the wings, ever ready to step in and occupy the first

Great Canal in Suez.
Could it be that having Egypt and Ethiopia, two out of three of

Africa’s largest countries, at each others throats is in the national

interests of the USA, that wants at all costs to prevent African

unity, neither economic or political?
Again we find the USA’s policy of “crisis management” behind the

scenes in this brewing conflict, as in create a crisis and then manage

it to divide and conquer, the better to loot and plunder African

resources with as little resistance as possible.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist , living and reporting

from here since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook or best reach

him at thomascmountain at g mail dot com