Tens of thousands of Ethiopians celebrated the first filling of the monumental Great Renaissance dam with a march through the capital Addis Ababa on Sunday to welcome the start of this controversial project that has created tensions with other EU countries such as the Blue Nile, such as Egypt and Sudan .
Tens of thousands of residents have filled the streets, many covered with the national flag, while others have waved signs and sung slogans to celebrate the dam known locally as “Abay”.
People honked car horns, whistled, played loud music and danced in public spaces to celebrate the occasion. The hashtags #ItsMyDam (Es mi prey) or #EthiopiaNileRights (Ethiopia’s rights on the Nile) were also a local trend on social media.
The celebration, part of a campaign titled “A Voice for Our Dam,” followed Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed’s announcement on July 22 that seasonal rain had led to the first successful filling of the mega dam reservoir.