KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
A Nile Basin countries forum kicked off in
Rwanda’s capital city Kigali highlighting cooperation in the use
of Nile Basin waters.
conflicting needs of upstream and downstream water users should
be the best basis and reason for cooperation in the use of Nile
Basin waters, Rwanda’s minister of environment Vincent Biruta
said at the opening of the 5th Nile Basin Development
The forum runs from
Oct. 23 to 25, under the theme “Investing in Nile Cooperation
for a Water Secure Future.”
More than 500
participants including ministers in charge of water affairs and
other government officials in Nile Basin countries, members of
Parliament, water resource managers, environmentalists,
economists, development planners, academia and researchers, are
attending the meeting.
“Investing in Nile
cooperation is not an option, but a must if we are to properly
and sustainably address the issue of water security within the
Nile Basin,” said Biruta.
The Rwandan minister
mentioned the need for the Nile Basin countries to work together
to reduce poverty, foster socio-economic development as well as
promote sustainable use of natural resources.
According to the
organizers, the meeting is aimed to create communities of people
who are well informed, actively engaged in and promoting Nile
cooperation as the only means of achieving sustainable
management and development of the shared Nile Basin water
resources as well as addressing shared risks, threats and
challenges across the Basin.
Executive Director of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), said growing
population, economies of the Nile states, as well as the impact
of climate change pose uncertainty about water availability and
By 2050, the
population living within the Nile Basin boundaries is projected
to reach 1 billion from the current 257 million, representing 53
percent of the total population of Nile Basin countries,
according to projections from Nile Basin countries.
The Nile Basin
Initiative brings together Nile Basin countries including
Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tanzania.