Ethiopia my beloved country!
A country where one witnesses the miracles of Mother Nature.
Cradle of humanity, home of ancient civilisation, endowed with miraculous flora and fauna, some of them only to be found in this sacred land. An amazing weather with tantalising landscape. Africa’s water tower, origin of giant rivers!
For centuries the people of Ethiopia has remained in perpetual poverty, backwardness and incessant wars. Some of the wars were against foreign aggressors which also help change the history of black people. Ethiopian people were forced to live in destitute conditions. External and internal enemies has bled the country like no others. All our achievements of the early first millennia have been dashed out by a recent and short lived famine history. Famine, drought and war became our brands. We were left alone in the dark. Brother killing his brother, war lord marching against his rival war lord. All our history became that of battle and genocide.
But things don’t remain the same forever. There is time for everything. We Ethiopians are now determined more than any other time to change the image of our beloved country. Of all the development efforts in the country there is nothing more impressive and unique as the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is. Symbolically, GERD is more than the water it holds or more than the power it generates. It is a question of national pride. It demonstrates the yes-we-can mental attitude of every patriotic Ethiopian citizen. Our historic enemies had left no stone unturned to make this reality unattainable. They have travelled to a great length in supporting any destabilising power or in blocking loans to Ethiopia. In a miraculous turn of events the balance has shifted, the cornerstone of our mammoth dam has been placed.
Why is Egypt opposing the GERD?
The government of Ethiopia has repeatedly announced that the construction of GERD is purely developmental. It is not to be used for any political manoeuvre. It is solely for the generation of electricity. And then the river flows as usual. This should have been accepted as a God send gift by the lower riparian countries, but unfortunately Egypt opposes. I don’t think the Egyptian water engineers are this much moron enough to fail to understand the importance of building such a dam in Ethiopia compared to their Nasir dam. All the flash floods, siltation of Aswan dam, and fluctuation in water levels would have been addressed. They should, in fact, extend a monetary assistance to Ethiopia to hasten up this grand idea. But the question is different. Egyptian politicians still repeat the old and trash song of veto power. Who gave them that power? Ethiopia does not give credit to the English version of 1909 Nile agreement done under colonial rules. Neither we do acknowledged the 1929 and 1959 agreements between Sudan and Egypt, this simply doesn’t protect Ethiopia’s interests.
It is not because the level of the river Nile will be reduced that Egypt is opposing. The reason is simple. If Ethiopia could build a dam in the Nile of this magnitude with more than 4billion USD without the assistance of foreign aid, she is demonstrating power. And this power will leave the country even more powerful. The country will have all the capabilities to construct other dams and will generate huge amount of income by exporting the surplus electricity and will attracts investors looking for cheaper electricity fares. In no time Ethiopia will surpass Egypt economically. This nullifies the idea of veto power. What they are afraid of is then: a Strong Ethiopia. All their playing cards are valid so long we remain poor, weak and divided. No Egyptian politician wants to see an economically strong Ethiopia. As the recent leaked live Egyptian television has proven they will try everything within their power to evaporate our dreams. Inciting religious unrest, fuelling ethnic clashes are but few of their intentions, but this is story of the past thanks to our strong reconnaissance capabilities.
Demand for more
The best defence is a strong offence! We should set our demands at a higher threshold. Why are we limiting ourselves only in using the GERD for generating electricity? Isn’t it our water, our right? Don’t we have the right to use our fair share of water? Who are they to tell us which river to use or how to use? Who are they to limit the height of the dam? This is a question of sovereignty! Unless we demand for more rights we will still compromise for their sake.
We should urge them to abandon their water intensive agricultural practices. They can invest in agricultural activities in Ethiopia or can buy from the Ethiopian market once we use and produce surplus produce using our immense water riches and vast arable land. It is a win win situation. Egypt is the number one wheat importing country, Ethiopia has vast agricultural land and water resource. They have to immediately stop wasting water in the desert. They should introduce water counters in each household.
It is time for Egypt to seek other alternatives too instead of being totally dependant on our river. Egypt has huge underground water, they should develop it and use it like a civilised society. The era of Attila is over, no country can live threatening other countries. They better cooperate with Ethiopia in times of looming crises under their noses. Attention diverting politics of the officials won’t hold any water in Tahrir square any more.
It is time to smash the Aswan dam! This is a slap on the face for their water engineers. Mockery of reason and science. A dam in the middle of the desert! Once the GERD is completed there is no place for the Aswan to stand there.
Worse of the worst
We have seen poverty in our history more than any other, we are now witnessing progress. There is no force on Earth which can persuade us to go back to our dark past. We should never negotiate our development. Only a developed country can safeguard its sovereignty. The era of famine and drought with all its painful memory should be history of the past. No bone and skin Ethiopian kid will appear on the BBC ever again. This is our promise to our beloved country. Other fellow upper riparian countries have taken a historic step in taking our side. Sudan has demonstrated a wise decision. But our right to use our water is not dependant on any other country’s good wish. If the worst happen, if the Egyptians are foolish enough to wage war on Ethiopia, we know the language of war more than them. It is human to die fighting for one’s country, but it makes one sub human to die of hunger. We have but one life to scarify for the sake our beloved country! When the situation gets tougher some of our neighbours might withdraw in fear, but we will face our enemy with great courage and determination. We know the victory is always on the side of those who fight for a noble reason. Abay will never again betray Ethiopia and Ethiopians. We have always the upper hand. Khedive Ishmael’s troops were crashed by a peasant army armed with nothing but courage and willpower.
War with Egypt is a far fetched possibility but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t watch our back. They might send mercenaries, they might try to sabotage, they might fund terrorists in as a last ditch effort. All we have to do is to stay vigilant my fellow Ethiopians.