THE Nile Basin Initiative has launched a 5.5million US dollar Nile Basin Regional Hydromet project that will enable the Member States to share reliable data for better monitoring of the Nile’s water resources.
The project was launched by Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and attended by Annual Nile Council of Ministers in which Kenya took over the chairmanship of the NBI from Burundi.
Kenya is placed to convene a second Nile Basin Heads of State Summit dating back to June 2017 in Entebbe, when it was inaugurated by Heads of State Summit and hosted by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.
The project according to a media communique received yesterday will be implemented in nine NBI member states; Tanzania, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
“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.
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, Member States were encouraged 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 the 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.
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 the Member States to jointly explore options for meeting rising water demands in the Nile Basin.”