Population growth, poor land use threaten Nile waters–report

There are many challenges associated with climate change in the Nile River Basin countries, a study carried out in March 2012 and released yesterday, shows.
Safari (L) and Prof. Munguti Katua Katui, the GWP Eastern Chairperson, during the meeting yesterday.  The New Times/ Noël Turikumwe
Safari (L) and Prof. Munguti Katua Katui, the GWP Eastern Chairperson, during the meeting yesterday. The New Times/ Noël Turikumwe

There are many challenges associated with climate change in the Nile River Basin countries, a study carried out in March 2012 and released yesterday, shows.

The research, carried out by Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze, highlights the main causes of water stress in Nile River countries and how to adapt to climate changes. It demonstrates water stress on low level in 1995 and predicts a high water stress in 2025 with population growth and land use as the major causes of the stress.

The study was presented during a two-day workshop of the Nile River Basin countries in Kigali, where participants urged nations to address challenges associated with climate changes.

Initiated by Global Water Partnership (GWP), the meeting brought together key partners in Eastern Africa region to share research findings on the assessment of climate change within countries in the region and adaptation actions.

“The study revealed that countries are facing water pollution, floods which impact on crops devastation and infrastructure loss, desert and drought,” Patrick Safari, the GWP Eastern Africa Regional coordinator, said, adding that action was needed to reduce water stress in Nile River Basin and make people more aware of water stress effects.

Among the effects resulting from climate changes are severe drought, deaths, materials and crops destruction associated floods and land degradation, according to the findings.

Identifying gaps


Countries were urged to mitigate the effects through proper water management, reduced deforestation, change of farming techniques and to establish early warning systems.

Partners are hopeful that recommendations from the study will serve as guidance in adapting to climate change within Nile River Basin countries.

The Director of Environment, Water Resources and Forests at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Lyliose Umupfasoni,  noted that the study will help to identify gaps in adapting to climate change and inform policy makers.

“GWP is our partner organisation and the study will help us to identify gaps in adapting to climate change, policy making, decision making and to adjust existing policies,” she said.

Nile River Basin comprises 10 countries that share Nile water.  The workshop was attended by participants from  Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.

The discussions rotated around the theme “Adapting to climate change induced water stress in the Nile River Basin.”

Among the proposed policies to protect people from water stress there is need to create an adaptive and resilience fund to provide vulnerable victims from climate change with financial and technical support and to establish a Water Climate Media Network to disseminate information and best practices on water and climate change related issues.

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