Water shortages in Khartoum before second Renaissance Dam filling

Water shortages in Khartoum ahead of Ethiopia's second Grand Renaissance Dam filling
2 min read
06 May, 2021
Serious water shortages in Khartoum come ahead of the second Grand Renaissance Dam filling, though water experts place blame elsewhere.
The GERD is to be filled again in July [Gallo/Orbital/Copernicus/Getty-file photo]

Sudan's capital is facing a major water crisis, The New Arab’s Arabic-language service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Thursday, ahead of Ethiopia's second filling of a huge dam upriver.

Water shortages have led to complaints from Khartoum locals who fear that the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will worsen the situation.

Khartoum State Water Corp has reported a daily water deficit of nearly 900,000 cubic metres.

Khartoum local Al-Touma Al-Nour Mohammed told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that she has been forced to purchase barrels of water at higher prices, which does not cater to her family's daily needs. She described the situation as "catastrophic".

Mirghani Ali, who lives in El Droshab in Khartoum North, said that locals have never experienced water shortages on this scale.

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"The problem has increased during the month of Ramadan because of increased consumption," he added.

Ali criticised the local water corporation for failing to address the situation.

Read more: Egypt and Ethiopia's Nile dam: Negotiating in the shadow of disaster?

Despite widespread anxieties that Ethiopia's upcoming filling of GERD could exacerbate the situation, experts do not believe the current water crisis is related to the dam.

Water expert Haider Yousef blamed the shortages on the water coroporation's mismanagement.

Another, Diab Hassan pointed the finger at electricity and water budget shortages.

He also claimed that facilities are in a poor state due to inadequate maintenance and that output is insufficient for even half the population.

The Water Corp's director, Mamoun Awad said the expansion of towns and cities has contributed to the water crisis and will likely lead to problems with electricity supplies.

The US this week sent representatives, including two Senators, to Sudan as unease mounts over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said the government views Ethiopia's planned second filling of the dam in July a "national security" matter.

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