Kenyan Deputy President Ruto announces 2nd Nile Basin Heads of State Summit, launches Regional HydroMet Project
Nairobi, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenyan Deputy President William Samoei Ruto recently launched a $5.5 million Nile Basin Regional HydroMet Project which will enable member states of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) to share reliable data for better monitoring of the Nile’s water resources.
The first of its kind, the Nile Basin Regional HydroMet System will inform national planning and evidence-based decision making.
The HydroMet Project will be implemented over a three-year period (July 2018 – July 2021). The project is implemented with technical and financial support from the European Union and the German federal government, through GIZ.
“The HydroMet System is designed to provide more reliable data and information for water resources management including flood disaster preparedness, coordinated management of water storage dams, navigation and improved adaptation to climate change,” Ruto said.
Ruto was chief guest at the opening ceremony of the Annual Nile Council of Ministers meetings (Nile-COM), at which Kenya took over chairmanship of the NBI from Burundi.
2nd Heads of State summit due
Ruto used the opportunity to announce that his country intended to convene a second Nile Basin Heads of State Summit. The inaugural Heads of State Summit was held in June 2017 hosted by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe.
The occasion of the announcement was the Launch of Nile Basin Regional HydroMet Project, which will be implemented in nine NBI Member States; Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Addressing the gathering as outgoing Chairperson of the Nile-COM, Dr. Deo-Guide Rurema, who is also Burundi’s Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, encouraged Member States to continue working towards finding lasting solutions to the various challenges in the Nile Basin.
“The delay in agreeing and adopting a legal and institutional framework has resulted in delays in the establishment of the permanent Nile River Basin Commission. It is my sincere hope that Member States will take bold steps towards adopting a common framework that will raise our level of engagement and facilitate harnessing benefits of the cooperation,” he said.
Rising water demands
The NBI Secretariat Executive Director, Prof. Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla, said:
“In order to allow countries to meet their growing water demands more efficiently and sustainably, NBI is assisting Member States to jointly explore options for meeting rising water demands in the Nile Basin.”
Speaking on behalf of NBI’s Development Partners,Amb. Simon Mordue, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Kenya, noted that the monitoring network will become a key tool to manage the nexus between water security and the needs for irrigation and hydropower.
“Ultimately, it will inform the political negotiations over water use and benefit sharing with reliable, non-biased technical data… The hydrological monitoring system has a potential of becoming the backbone of transboundary water cooperation in the Nile River Basin,” he said.
The ministers also approved the work plan and budget for both the Secretariat based in Entebbe, Uganda and NELSAP-CU, based in Kigali, Rwanda responsible for preparation of investment projects for the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.
The Nile Basin Initiative
The Nile Basin Initiative is a regional intergovernmental partnership of ten Nile Basin countries, namely; Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
It was established on February 22, 1999 by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries. NBI is the only basin-wide institution mandated to facilitate the cooperative development and management of the shared Nile Basin water resources on behalf of the 10-Member States, for win-win benefits and to promote regional peace and security.
SOURCE: NBI MEDIA