Tiff over the Nile

Ethiopia is building a hydroelectric dam called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River (which is one of the rivers that forms the Nile River).  Ethiopia has started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile so that work on the dam can be done. The dam will be used to generate a large amount of electricity to supply to Ethiopia and some neighboring countries.  However, Egypt and Sudan, two countries downstream from Ethiopia, are upset about this dam because the two nations feel they’ll get less water from the Nile River once the dam is built. Both the countries are dependent on the waters of the Nile River.

The Nile River is the longest river in the world with an approximate length of 4,130 miles (6,650 kilometres). The river flows northward through Africa and empties into the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt. It sounds as if the Nile is flowing in the wrong direction because it is flowing “northward”, but it is simply flowing from higher ground to lower ground. The Nile River flows through 11 countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The two main rivers that form the Nile are the Blue Nile and the White Nile merging together at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The Blue and White Niles have multiple sources, some of which are the Kagera River, Lake Victoria, and Lake Tana.


Ethiopia lies just above the equator. Its capital is Addis Ababa. Many languages are spoken in the country including Oromigna, Somaligna, Amharic, Tigrigna, and English. A staple food in Ethiopia is the injera, a large flatbread. Usually meat or vegetable dishes are served on top of it, and people eat with their hands breaking off the bread and scooping the vegetables or meat. Ethiopia is a large coffee producer. The Ethiopians have a legend about how a goat herder, named Kaldi, discovered the effect of caffeine in coffee beans when his goats started dancing around after chomping on wild coffee berries.

You can watch a video on how electricity is generated using a dam here.

Did you know?

The oldest bones of the human species that have been found were in Ethiopia. The bones are of two humans who have been named Omo I and Omo II. They lived about 195,000 years ago.

Image Credits: http://www.eepco.gov.et for GERD’s image, Imagico for Nile River’s image, Rama for the image of injeram
Sources: http://www.britannica.com, http://www.eepco.gov.et, www.cia.gov, Al Jazeera