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Nile Basin Co-operative Framework Agreement signed

Six states have signed a negotiated Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement that will ensure the sustainable management and equitable use of Nile water resources. Water Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa said several activities are already being undertaken within the shared basin.

“Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has made remarkable progress in its objective to set up a legal and permanent institutional framework. In this regard, we now have a negotiated Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) that has already been signed by six member states.

The CFA is currently at various stages of ratification in the countries and will come into force as soon as it is ratified,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Environment Cabinet secretary Judy Wakhungu during the Nile Day celebration in Vihiga county.

Wamalwa said since its inception in February 1999, the shared vision has created a basin-wide enabling environment through projects and programmes which are used to deliver tangible benefits on the ground. In celebrating the achievements of NBI, Wamalwa said member states should reflect on the threats facing the water resources.

He said many of the river catchments are becoming increasingly degraded through encroachment of riparian land and poor farming practices, resulting to loss of environmental and biodiversity services. He said high demand for land due to population growth has also impacted negatively on the environment.

“Further, inequitable utilisation of the shared water resources and improper disposal of waste water and solid waste continue to pose a great risk to the quality of this vital yet dwindling resource.

These challenges have created the need for better management practices,” said the CS. He said every effort must be made to protect, conserve and sustainably develop the water resources, both nationally and regionally, as a gateway to regional integration.

“What this means is that if we mismanage, tamper with or allow those from outside to do so we are putting the lives of our people in the basin at risk of extinction,” said Wamalwa Wakhungu said Kenya has benefited greatly from the NBI which is in line with Vision 2030.

She said the successful implementation of the trans-boundary integrated water resources management projects of the river basins of Sio-Malaba-Malakisi between Kenya and Uganda, and River Mara between Kenya and Tanzania, has led to enhanced planning and reduction in water use conflicts.

She also pointed at the rehabilitation and augmentation of the Bomet, Mulot and Angurai water supply and sanitation projects which have seen an additional 55,700 people get access to water and sanitation.

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