A dam in Ethiopia is increasing regional tensions. Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over a dam across the Blue Nile in Ethiopia broke down on Monday. There are fears that filling the dam could lead to armed conflict. Ethiopia needs the dam to supply electricity to its rural areas. It will be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam, and is two-thirds finished. Egypt views the dam as an "existential threat". It is worried the dam will reduce its water supplies. Most of Egypt's water comes from the Nile. This is important during times of drought.
The Blue Nile originates in natural springs in Ethiopia. It supplies the majority of the River Nile's water. The Blue Nile merges with the White Nile near Khartoum in Sudan and becomes the River Nile from the point of confluence. Ethiopia calls the dam an "existential necessity". Ethiopia says the dam is essential, because nearly half the country's population has no electricity. Egypt said it could share electricity with Ethiopia instead of the dam being used. An Egyptian politician said: "One nation's need for electricity is pinned to another nation's need for water."