Why is this Nile dam so controversial?

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Alan Kasujja BBC Africa Daily podcast

One dam. Three countries. A big headache.

Ethiopia couldn’t be more proud of it, but the Grand Renaissance Dam has proven controversial.

The dam is being built on the Blue Nile River and, when complete, will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant.

Problem is: both Egypt and Sudan fear the dam will limit their access to water.

“The Nile is the source of 90 to 95 per cent of the water usage in Egypt,” says Rehab Abd Almohsen, a science writer in in Egypt.

“Every drop of water from the Nile is very important because it’s the only source of fresh water that we have.”

Ethiopia, on the other hand, says the project is vital to its development.

“[Ethiopia has] one of the fastest growing economies in the last decade,” says the BBC’s Kalkidan Yibeltal in Addis Ababa. “And it wants this project to provide electricity to this growing economy.”

Negotiations between all three countries are going nowhere: the latest round of talks ended on Tuesday with no progress made.

So, how did we get there? And how can the deadlock ever be broken?

Find out in Wednesday’s edition of Africa Daily.

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