Ethiopia’s prime minister announced Aug. 12 that the third phase of filling the reservoir of the GERD dam has been completed. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the dam’s infrastructure, where the prime minister confirmed a 25-meter rise in the reservoir level compared to last year when the second filling phase was started (https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/08/third-filling-nile-dam-heightens-ethiopia-egypt-crisis).
Upon completion of the third phase, the second of the plant’s thirteen turbines was officially activated, bringing the power generation capacity to 750 MW, out of a total of 5,000 MW at full capacity. The GERD plant thus enters its completion phase, which will take another two years to finish the engineering work and complete the filling of the reservoir, which will subsequently allow the remaining 11 turbines (https://borkena.com/2022/08/12/ethiopian-gerd-dam-third-filling-completed-govt-announced/) to be commissioned.
The Ethiopian prime minister’s announcement was met with protests from the Egyptian government, to which Ethiopia had sent a letter last July 26 giving notice that the third phase of filling had begun. This communication was rejected by Cairo, which had approached the UN Security Council to ask it to intervene by halting the unilateral start of activities on the basin.
The government of Sudan, through its Minister of Water Resources Daw al-Bait Abdul Rahman, had also asked Ethiopia on July 31 to halt filling operations, hoping for a trilateral agreement binding on states affected by Blue Nile flows.
Finally, on Aug. 19, Ethiopia responded to protests from Egypt and Sudan by claiming how the government in Addis Ababa desires an “African solution” to the GERD dam disputes, although ongoing talks at the African Union remain stalled now since April 2021 (https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3825091/ethiopia-says-it-demands-african-solution-gerd-crisis-rejects-outside-mediation).
According to rumors circulated in both the Egyptian and Ethiopian press, the UAE has reportedly begun informal talks with delegates from Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, seeking to assume a mediation role aimed at establishing an agreement between the parties. No concrete results, however, appear to have been reached at present.