Egypt satellite monitors Ethiopia’s dam

Photo: Egypt satellite monitors Ethiopia’s dam / Arab World

Egypt has launched a new satellite that will keep an eye on Ethiopia's building of its hydroelectric dam, which Cairo has claimed will hinder the Arab country's access to the Nile's water, a local news website reported.

The satellite, Egysat, was launched two weeks ago to monitor Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam by capturing high quality photos of the construction site along with other sources of the Nile, Ahram Online reported Alaa el-din el-Nahry, vice president of Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, as saying, Al Arabiya reported Thursday.

The satellite, reportedly worth almost $43 million, will not only track the dam but it will also monitor the Kongo River basin to assess the effectiveness of a proposed project to link the Kongo and Nile rivers, the website reported.

In case of any violations in the dam's stated purpose of electricity generation, Egysat's findings will aid Cairo in negotiations in case it resorts to international arbitration, Nahry said.

Last week, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his country was ready to respond if Egypt decided to take its dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam to the United Nations.

He also urged Egypt to take part in another round of tripartite talks with Sudan to implement international recommendations over the construction of its hydroelectric dam.

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