Manyara BUSIA (Xinhua) -- Failure by Kenya,
Uganda and Burundi to append signature to a pact on
sharing of Nile water resources will compromise
sustainable development, peace and stability in the
region, an expert warned.
Emmanuel Chonza, a Senior Economist at
the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP)
said that dithering by the three East African Community
(EAC) States to ratify the pact will undermine efforts
to promote equitable utilization of the vast Nile
“The delay to sign the Nile
Cooperative Framework by Kenya, Uganda and Burundi
will ultimately hinder formation of a Commission
whose mandate is to oversee equitable sharing of a
resource that underpins regional development and
stability,” Chonza remarked.
He spoke told Xinhua in a recent
interview during a consultative forum attended by
regional experts in Western Kenyan town of Busia.
East African States have mulled
formation of a Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC) that
will transform utilization of the world’s second longest
The commission will be established
once all the Nile riparian states sign the cooperative
Geopolitics, incoherent policies and
legislation have nevertheless undermined a collective
approach to utilization of the abundant Nile resources
to benefit local communities.
Chonza urged Kenya, Uganda and Burundi
to fast-track ratification of a regional pact on sharing
of Nile basin resources for the sake of peace and
He at the same time commended
Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia for ratifying the
agreement that would pave way for investments in
livelihood transforming projects along the Nile basin.
“We hope that countries that are yet
to ratify the cooperative framework will expedite
the process in order to facilitate equitable sharing
of Nile waters to spur development,” Chonzo told
The Nile Basin Commission has both
political and technical tracks. According to Chonza, the
political track is headed by ministers responsible for
water affairs from the member states charged with the
responsibility of fast-tracking the ratification process
of the agreement.
He added that institutions affiliated
to the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) have invested in
technical capacity to enable them generate concrete data
on benefits to be realized once all riparian states
ratify the cooperative framework.
“As centres we assist in generating
benefits for the member countries to enable them
realize the importance of the existing cooperation
with the hope that the countries involved will also
actively participate in fast tracking the
ratification of the process so that the permanent
commission is actualized soon,” Chonzo told Xinhua.
When asked why Kenya has delayed to
ratify the cooperative framework agreement, Chonza said
they were in Nairobi recently where they were informed
that the ratification process is at an advanced stage.
“We hope the next government will fast
track the ratification of the Cooperative Framework
Agreement in order to pave way for the formation of
the Nile Basin Commission,” said the economist.
He at the same time noted the Nile
River Basin Commission (NRBC) will be vested with legal
personality as well as enhancing the Nile cooperation.
“The Nile River Basin Commission will
ensure that national development projects are
coordinated with basin-wide development to achieve
optimal use of the Basin’s resources and increase
national benefits of regional cooperation,” Chonzo