The NBI Secretariat on 15th June, 2016 hosted Ambassadors and High Commissioners representing Nile Basin countries in Uganda to an information session on the upcoming EU-German cooperation support to Nile Basin programs. The 5-year project, totaling Euro 13.5 million, will start 2016/17 and end 2020/2021. It will cover six priority areas of the basin programs and tackle issues such as balancing growing water demands with available water resources of the Nile Basin in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Speaking during the discussion, H.E Kristian Schmidt, Head of EU Delegation in Uganda, called on the ambassadors present to “engage downstream countries to participate in such dialogue”. He added that he hoped the EU’s support leads to greater understanding and therefore reduces potential for conflict.
“Our support is not about conserving the River Nile--because we realize it’s a source of livelihood for the people and the countries--but it’s about how to sustainably use [the Nile],” he said.
Also present, was Udo Weber, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Uganda, who explained the motivation behind his country’s support to the NBI.
“Water means life, culture and identity. Nowhere in the world is this truer than along the River Nile with its rich heritage,” said Weber.
In appreciation of the gesture from the donors, NBI Secretariat Executive Director, John Rao Nyaoro, HSC (PhD), said the support would “make substantial contribution in addressing current challenges of Nile cooperation and harnessing opportunities for advancing cooperation.”
Speaking on the behalf of the Nile Basin Ambassadors, Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Geoffrey L. Okanga, appreciated NBI’s efforts in improving livelihoods in the basin.