Kenya says Sudan and Egypt want to monopolize Nile water – SudanTribune

November 8th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Kenya on Friday accused Sudan and Egypt of attempt to monopolize Nile water resources and urged them to reconsider their position. (more…)

Kenya on Friday accused Sudan and Egypt of attempt to monopolize Nile water resources and urged them to reconsider their position.

Egypt and Sudan hold absolute rights to use 100 per cent of the river’s water under agreements reached in 1929 between Egypt and Britain and in 1959 between Egypt and Sudan.

The agreements prohibit Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia from implementing projects utilising Nile water without prior permission from Egypt.

Kenyan Water Minister, Charity Ngilu, criticised the rejection by Egypt and Sudan to endorse a Nile Water Basin Cooperative Framework (NWBCF) because it aims at guaranteeing water security for the upper riparian countries of the Nile basin.

“We are being held back by Egypt and Sudan, but we are talking to them to reconsider their position,” she said.

The two countries refuse to sign the new agreement saying the NWBCF should not affect the rights given by the previous agreements to Egypt.

Egypt and Sudan reject article 4 of the NWBCF which reads “Nile Basin states therefore agree, in a spirit of cooperation, not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State.”

They propose to replace it with another disposition reading “Nile Basin States therefore agree, in a spirit of cooperation, not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin States.”

However the Kenyan minister said the NWBCF is signed by 6 riparian countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. She further warned that it could be implemented without the non signatories.

Of the Nile’s estimated annual allotment of 83 billion cubic metres (2,931 billion cubic feet), Egypt has been receiving 55 billion cubic meters (1,942 billion cubic feet) under a 1929 treaty it signed with Britain, which was representing its East African colonies.

Kenya and Tanzania openly declared in the past they would not recognise the treaty, since they were not party to it, with the latter announcing a major project that will draw water from Lake Victoria in violation of the treaty.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was launched in 1999 to provide a framework to fight poverty and promote socio-economic development in the entire region.

Its members are Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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