DAR-ES-SALAAM, The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), which groups 10 riparian states, has embarked on plans for possible Nile River water rescue following reports that the world’s longest river is under serious threat.
NBI Executive Director Engineer Innocent Ntabana said in Kigali this week that the crisis facing the river which flows northward from Lake Victoria and drains into the Mediterranean Sea is likely to be felt more acutely after 2021, five years from now.
Increasing populations, pressures for energy, droughts, demand for food security and climate change are the challenges threatening the river, he said. Water will be not enough without a shared co-operation.”
He was briefing journalists ahead of the Fifth Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) being held in Kigali from Monday to Wednesday. The theme for thiis year’s forum is, Investing in Nile Co-operation for a Water Secure Future, and the Executive Director believes this year’s event will provide a platform for scientists and policy makers to address the situation.
He said the forum is organized to also discuss the challenges of water scarcity around the Nile regions. The recommendations will guide us especially after completing our ten-year strategic plan.
The NBI is an inter-governmental partnership formed by the Nile Basin countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, but the co-operation now needs to come together to save the river that provides food, energy, livelihood and water for millions Africans.
According to Ntabana, the immediate response to the threat by member States is to apply efficiency and sustainable water use and supply. We need to make proper management and action must be taken, he added.
Media reports suggest that irrigation farming compounded by water-intensive projects such as hydro-electric power dams are taking a big toll on the Nile.
A technical adviser in Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment, Nyirakamana Jacqueline, said at least 500 delegates from within and outside member states are attending the forum at the Kigali Convention Centre.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK