English (UK)

From June 13th to 14th, 2023, the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat convened a two-day workshop focused on the Nile Basin Data and Analytics Services (NB-DAS) needs assessment and awareness raising workshop at the national level for Uganda at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala. This was the last of the Nile Basin-wide country needs assessments which started in November 2021 in Burundi. Due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan, it has not yet been possible to conduct a needs assessment there.

With support from the Nile Cooperation for Climate Resilience (NCCR) Project financed by the World Bank through the Cooperation for International Waters in Africa (CIWA) Trust Fund, NBI is expanding its data and analytic services for climate-resilient water resources management by harnessing improvements in data collection technology and increasingly available and freely accessible diverse earth observation (EO) information.

The two-day national engagement workshop drew Ugandan experts from water resources management, water resources development, modelling, agriculture, earth observation and remote sensing, energy, researchers, and related fields for an in-depth discussion on how data analytics is done at the country level and to examine publicly available datasets in the public domain that can be used to acquire in-depth knowledge of national natural resources.

Dr. Florence G. Adongo, Director in the Directorate of Water Resources at the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, and a Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) Member for Uganda - emphasized the importance of data for proper planning among Nile Basin Member States. This was during the official opening of the workshop where she was the Guest of Honour.

She said, "Data is what we use scientifically to generate information and the science allows us to understand the resources we are dealing with, the opportunities, challenges, and the threats that are there...this helps us to optimize the use [of water resources], conserve it, protect it...if we want to prioritize the utilization, the data will help us."


She explained that under Goal 1 of NBI's 10-year Strategy, NBI is committed to supporting Nile Basin Member States in enhancing their capacity and widening their knowledge into the various global technologies, generate information and use this info to inform and drive decisions - not only at management and technical level but also at governance level and basin-wide level. This need is further exacerbated by the dynamics caused by climate change, which has affected water resources through the hydrological cycle.

NBI Secretariat’s Executive Director, Eng. Sylvester A. Matemu highlighted that cooperation among the Nile Basin Member States hinges on the use of data for managing and developing shared water resources. He expressed appreciation for CIWA’s support on the Nile Cooperation for Climate Resilience (NCCR) Project which has facilitated improvement in data collection, and data relevant for driving decisions in several spheres of life.


The development of the Nile Basin DAS platform will be useful to the basin’s 272 million citizens, comprising not only ministries but also local and grassroots communities. Data from this platform will be able to provide information such as early warning systems for floods, droughts, and other risks related to water and climate and information on climate projections trends that are crucial for water planning relating to different water uses like fisheries, and agriculture, among others.

 These national engagements have been taking place in the Nile Basin Member States and the collective information gained is expected to foster knowledge sharing, identify gaps in data analytics, and consequently contribute to user requirement assessments which will inform the development of the Nile Basin DAS platform. The Nile Basin DAS platform will facilitate national and regional evidence-based decision making, which is critical for effective management of water and related natural resources.

In addition to understanding user needs and requirements for the development of the Nile Basin DAS platform, the workshop facilitated the following:

• Created awareness of the countries’ capacity for data and information analytic services.
• Created trust of national stakeholders for national and regional data analytics based on publicly available datasets in the public domain.
• Created basin-wide ownership of the DAS platform through collective participation and identify country needs in the development process.
• Introduced technical teams at the national level to NBI’s information and knowledge systems and products that leverage on national and globally available datasets.

Outcomes of this two-day workshop included improved knowledge, cooperation, and coordination among national participants and the Nile Secretariat on exploring one another’s useful experiences in DAS; identification of gaps and determining user needs and requirements for data analytics; enhanced understanding on global, regional, and national information, knowledge, and technologies for DAS; and strengthened multi-disciplinary participation of the Nile Basin countries not just limited to a discussion on DAS but also for the countries to take action and reflect on their experiences on current data analytic processes.