Home | News    Monday 24 May 2004

Nile basin states to meet in Sudan on environmental degradation

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NAIROBI, May 24, 2004 (Xinhua) — The 10 African nations that share the waters of the Nile are meeting this week in Sudan to launch a five-year project aimed at providing a strategic environmental framework for the management of the transboundary waters and environmental challenges in the Nile River Basin.

The May 25-29 talks in Khartoum, held under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), will launch the Nile Transboundary Environment Action Project which became operational in October last year, the NBI Secretariat said on Monday.

More effective cooperation and coordination between the Nile Basin states is needed for the Nile Basin’s environment to be conserved in ways that help improve the quality of life of the communities.

This project provides an opportunity for the Nile Basin countries to work together to manage the environment in a sustainable manner, Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative Meraji Msuya said in a statement. Kenya is the current chair of the NBI.

The Nile Transboundary Environment Action Project is the first of eight Basin-wide projects to be implemented under the Shared Vision Program of the Nile Basin Initiative.

It is estimated to cost 39 million US dollars and is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) through the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The NBI said environmental degradation of land and water resources, and inadequate capacity to manage these resources in a sustainable manner have been recognized as threats to the sustainable development of the Nile basin states for many years.

The Nile is home to an estimated 160 million people. More than 300 million people live in the 10 countries that share and depend on the Nile waters. All of these people rely to a greater extent on the river for their basic needs.

The Nile River is shared by 10 countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, the Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a regional partnership initiated by the Nile countries in 1999 to realize a shared vision to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.

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