: "Somalia President scotches claims over Shabelle River closure
MOGADISHU, Somalia-Ethiopian authorities cannot stop the flow of Shabelle river water into downstream Somalia, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told VOA Somali Service.
Mohamud made remarks in Washington after reports of large scale water diversion in the Somali region of Ethiopia surfaced.
Somali President added that it is not possible for Ethiopia to make overutilization upstream at the expense of Somalia in line with international water principles.
Last month, Shabelle River that is dependent on runoffs of Ethiopian highlands dried up, and prompted debates on whether water resource projects in Ethiopia could be the reason.
Somalia will be investigating the matter, Mohamud disclosed.
Thousands of farmers in central and southern Somalia use Shabelle and Juba Rivers water for irrigation.
El Nino-induced drought and severe water shortages have affected considerable swathes in Somalia for months.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed an initial agreement Monday on sharing water from the Nile, which runs through all three, as Ethiopia presses ahead with its construction of a massive new dam it hopes will help alleviate the country’s power shortages. The dam had been an issue of contention among the countries, with Egypt concerned it would reduce its share of the Nile established under a colonial-era agreement. But on Monday, leaders of the three nations welcomed the agreement in speeches in Khartoum. It outlines principles by which they are to cooperate to use the water fairly and resolve any potential disputes peacefully, leaving details on specific procedures to be determined later after the release of joint, expert studies.