Ministers and government technocrats from the ten Nile Basin countries raised concern that transboundary investments along the River Nile water resources have either stalled or not going on as planned because of a lack of financial resources. Water and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alfred Okot Okidi, speaking on behalf of Uganda said the investments would have ensured benefits like food production, energy generation and water security.
Ugandas Minister of Water, Sam Cheptoris was among the ministers that marched through the streets of Addis Ababa as part of the efforts to raise public awareness on the need for sustainable management of the Nile water resources.
The Executive Director Nile Basin Initiative-NBI Innocent Ntabana said the challenges of water security in the Nile Basin are rising with population growth and climatic changes. He said those challenges could lead to conflict situations if the Nile resources are not well planned and managed.
Water and Environment Minister, Sam Cheptoris told Uganda Radio Network that he had received a communication from his Egyptian counterpart protesting against the way Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat in Uganda is handling the process. But Cheptoris, the Outgoing Nile Council of Ministers chairman did not reveal any further details on the alleged protest from the Egyptian Authorities.
The two-day deliberations in Kampala and Entebbe were aimed at rallying all the 11 Nile Basin countries to own the controversial Entebbe Agreement also known as the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement CFA.
Uganda is eager to see that all Nile riparian states sign and ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement CFA, also known as the Entebbe Agreement. The agreement outlines principles, rights and obligations for cooperative management and development of the Nile Basin water resources.
Experts from the Global Water Partnership say that countries with shared water resources like River Nile need to strengthen their negotiation skills on how to apply international water law whenever disagreements arise over shared water resources.
Economists from the Nile Basin countries say there is a compelling case as to why the member states under the Nile Basin Initiative should apply economics principles when sharing river Nile and it resources.
The livelihoods of over two hundred million people in the Nile Basin areas is at threat a environmental degradation of River Nile continues. Experts are also warning of potential regional conflict over the Nile waters.
President Yoweri Museveniâ€™s comments on the use of River Nile are likely to play into a diplomatic rift among the Nile Basin countries over plans by Ethiopia to build a multi-billion dollar hydro electric dam. During the presentation of the 2013/2014 budget in Kampala on Thursday, Museveni called on Egypt to respect other countries that share the Nile instead of issuing threats.