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Kenya to benefit from $140 million Nile Basin plan

Kenya is to benefit from $140 million (over Sh10 billion) projects under the Nile Basin Initiative. The projects will also benefit Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. All of the countries share the River Nile. 

Initiative member countries and donors will fund the projects that range from efficient water use, environment conservation, power generation, trade and socio-economic development. Kenya was also nominated to host the secretariat to coordinate the $5.28m (Sh380m) Efficient Water Use for Agricultural Production Project, which is funded by the Dutch government through the World Bank managed Nile Basin Trust Fund.

The three-year project is one of seven under the Nile Basin initiative's shared vision programme that aims to nurture expertise in water use and management. It is expected to focus on water harvesting and community and public/private managed irrigation systems.

The move comes few weeks after the launching of a Comprehensive Report on World's Water Management in Agriculture coordinated by the CGIAR - a strategic research alliance dealing with agricultural issues - which called for efficient water use in Africa to save the continent from dwindling water resources.

Project manager Tadele Gebreselassie said inhabitants of the basin looked to the Nile to solve their myriad problems. Although there were many opinions on water management, all seemed to agree that water from the river had been mismanaged, he said. And Dutch embassy first secretary Andre Vermeer said donors would be keen to see the projects' results.


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