Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui during the Nile Equatorial Lakes Investment Program (NELIP) workshop. Photo by John Kyalo

Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has called upon countries in the Nile Equatorial Lakes region to cooperate in managing water bodies and catchment areas.

Speaking during the first Nile Equatorial Lakes Investment Program (NELIP) consultative workshop held in Nairobi, the CS said that it is unfortunate that at times neighbours fight over resources instead of finding ways of managing them prudently.

“The Nile can benefit all these countries if we are able to avoid duplication and reduce expenditure of implementing projects. We are here to ensure we do not scramble for fish and water when we can share it because non of the member states has a higher ownership than the other,” said the CS.

The Cabinet Secretary added that Kenya is responsible and respects trans-boundary resources. The Ministry is trying to clean rivers flowing into lake Victoria at the moment to curb pollution. The ministry is also planning to build 57 dams in the country besides championing the protection of Mau forest

The Nile Basin Initiative has created understanding of the Nile River and how it can be managed considering that it is being affected by climate change. NELIP has established that collective action is needed to conserve the basin through cooperation, better planning, management and mobilization of finances.

The Nile basin is important in improving food security, water and energy production thus spurring development. Projections in the Nile Basin region indicates that demand for energy, food and freshwater will increase over the next decade due to population growth, climate change, urbanization among other factors.

The workshop aims to come up with a roadmap that will create regional integration, conserve environment without depleting resources and guide governments on best use of water. The workshop which will end on 3rd August is being attended by ten member states that include Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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