Egypt will give the Government of South Sudan US$ 300 million for water and electricity projects as it seeks to build good will among countries along the Nile, the source of almost all of its water, Reuters reported.
The grant will be used for building potable water complexes, drilling 30 wells for underground water, setting up river ports and upgrading electricity and water networks, Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Nasreddin Allam told Reuters.
In May , Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and latterly Kenya signed a new deal over the management of the Niles waters in attempt to replace the original colonial-era agreement that gives Egypt the power to veto dams and other water projects in upstream countries.
The Nile Basin Agreement, which took 10 years to negotiate has been rejected by Egypt and Sudan and may trigger a struggle for water resources in the region.
Southern Sudan, which will vote on whether it wishes to separate from northern Sudan in January , has a semi-autonomous government that is yet to form an independent position on the new agreement.
Should the South vote for independence it would create an additional country for the waters of the White Nile to flow through before it reaches Egypt.
Upstream states say that it is unfair for Egypt to keep its historic veto over projects such as hydroelectric damns along Nile as they wish to use the Nile’s water to support economic growth and development.
Source: Sudan Tribune, 11 Jul 2010