Inadequate Resources Hindering Nile Basin Preservation

The Nile Basin Countries have been urged to provide adequate resources to maintain infrastructures put in place to monitor and collect data used to preserve the Basin area. This was at the closing of the first phase of the Hydromet Project and Strategic Water Resources workshop held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday.

During the workshop Sowedi Ssewagudde the acting Commissioner in charge of International and Trans-border Water Affairs from the Ministry of Water and Environment said member states come together to develop common policies and also replicate efforts of member countries to protect the Nile Basin from being exploited and degraded.

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The commissioner also said that there is a need to develop common products that can help all members, they also hope to begin issuing forecasts or generating the state of the basin when using the same procedures to generate the information for easy communication among members’ countries.

“If we use different methodologies the chances are that we shall come up with different products and that can be a source of conflict”. Ssewagudde stated.

However, Ssewagudde showed concern about inadequate resources provided by some member countries to maintain the infrastructures like Hydromet stations which are built in every member country.

Each member country is supposed to provide 6 Million Euros to the Nile Basin Initiative used to maintain Hydromet stations which help to collect data that is used for water resources management, development, and transboundary cooperation of the Nile Basin. 

Sylvester Anthony Matemu the Executive Director of the Nile Basin Secretariat said that the impact of climate change has pushed the Nile Basin Initiative to come up with different strategies to manage the basin area.

According to the executive director, there is a need to consider water security, climate adaptation, and food security among others. There is also a need to understand how much water is in the Nile to manage the issues of water security.

He adds that now they have installed Hydromet monitoring stations within all the member countries of the Nile Basin and they want to make sure that they install 60 monitoring stations in all member countries to have data that will enable discussion-making and understanding better the requirements at different sectors like irrigation for food security, Environment, Hydropower among others with funding from European Union BMZ.

It’s the countries’ responsibility to buy the monitoring stations and to rehabilitate them Matemu said that the Nile Basin Secretariat has built the capacity of the staff of the countries and given them state-of-the-art technology to access data which will help policymakers to make discussions.

 “If you wanted to contract a road, you need hydrologic data for designing so that you can find out how much water is passing through the wetland so that you can design the proper bridges that can’t be washed away by rains, it’s the responsibility of Ministry of water in each country to provide that data”. The executive director stated  

 The Nile Basin Initiative was constituted in 1999 with 10 member states which include Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi and Egypt, and Kenya with a population of 272 million people in the basin area and with 3.2 million square kilometers long. 

By FK Male 

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