NILE: Gift or Torment?

By:Wajahat Ali Javed

Whenever the question of life survival arises water flashes in our minds. History reveals that life’s existence living development and prosperity directly proportional to the amount and availability of water history flourishes at the banks of rivers. From the older days to till today’s major livelihood depends on water. The Nile valley cradled and nourished one of the oldest and finest civilizations in world history. Herodotus the ancient Greek historian called Egypt the “Gift of the Nile” For centuries the small tribal kingdoms merged on banks of the Nile river. Kind Menes form a kingdom around 3400 B.C probably he was the first to establish dynastic rule over what we call the old kingdom So far, it’s one of the largest rivers that flow from South to north merging from the Lake Tana and flowing through Sudan to Egypt. These nations are crosswords over the Nile. As there, major economic condition depends upon the flow of Nile. Many agreements were signed by the Nile based countries majorly including water management agreement in 1999 In the year 2010 they also signed a cooperative framework agreement and recently three countries signed a declaration of principles in 2015 but all these efforts of no vail. The Arab revolution also hit hardly Egypt in 2011. At the same moment, the Ethiopian government has embarked upon the largest project. ‘GERD’ “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam”. Which increases More pain and curiosity to the Egyptians Nile based project of the dam is 7th largest in the world with the net expenditure of $4.62 billion and estimated production of 5000 megawatts electricity. It seems to be a game-changer for the Ethiopian. while Cairo facing 10 bn kiloliter reductions in water level which is a catastrophe of unimaginable consequences. 1 bn reduction result in 200,000-acre land barren and 500,000 out of work. This catastrophic situation indicates Hydro Hegemony. Water become the matter of life and death for Cairo. Former President Anwar Sadat once said, “The only matter that can take Egyptian to war is water”. Further More Mohamed Morsi in 2013 said. We will defend each drop of water with the blood. After the Morsi, the situation toppled up a Suddan shift in favor of Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Sudan is also affected by the GERD but they are confident that the country can handle the loss of water by reaping the benefits of cheap electricity. Ethiopian can produce surplus electricity for export. Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed receives a Nobel peace prize in 2019 for his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. While the other side awakening the rumbles of war. Egyptian president beliefs in a political solution and also ask trump for mediation. Political solutions were made by political experts by the means of strong diplomacy and political tactics. Egypt is facing the worst situation in this case. The increasing population dam projects climate changes water supply will extremely stress regional agriculture and exacerbate water scarcity across the upper Nile basins in the coming decades. So, considering the Nile a gift or torment these issues must be settled down by the political and diplomatic means before the scarcity drought and famine rings the bell in Egypt.

-The writer is student of BS International Relations at IIUI