Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Egyptian experts’ misinformation on the Renaissance Dam

One of the greatest victories over Egyptian experts’ misinformation on the Renaissance Dam.

In June 2022, the current Minister of Irrigation, Dr. Hani Sweilem, spread misinformation by claiming the existence of cracks in the concrete cover of the saddle dam. A group of Ethiopians, including myself, united to expose this falsehood.

I personally encouraged others to send emails to RWTH Aachen University in Germany where he taught in 2022, and to the German embassy in Addis Ababa at the time. I also sent a direct message to my follower, the Deputy Director-General for Energy and Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, in German. Eventually, Dr. Hani Sweilem deactivated his Facebook and Twitter accounts. That’s a significant victory!

Here’s the story: many Egyptian experts, including the current irrigation minister, claimed that there were cracks in the body of the saddle dam and that satellite images showed it in black. However, it is known that the width of any cracks in the reinforced concrete slab protecting the saddle dam cannot exceed a few millimeters and can never be seen by satellite. Thus, the images actually showed construction joints filled with bitumen (asphalt). When it rained, the joints appeared surrounded by the black color of the bitumen.

These deceptive assertions provide a level of psychological reassurance for officials dealing with the Renaissance Dam matter. While satellite images are generally accurate, they require scientific interpretation. Dr. Hani Sweilem’s claims regarding the presence of cracks were undoubtedly incorrect. Despite revealing these experts’ misinformation, the Egyptian media continues to employ these illogical explanations today.

Arricle by: Asrat Birhanu

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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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