New Vision (Kampala)

9 March 2004

North Africa: Conserve Water, Odongo Tells Nile Basin Countries

Kampala — ENVIRONMENT state minister Lt. Gen. J. J. Odong has urged countries in the Great Lakes region and the Nile Basin to use their water resources carefully if they are to avoid a catastrophe, writes Gersom Musamali.

Opening the Nile Basin Water Resources Management Project capacity-building workshop at the Entebbe headquarters on Thursday, Odong said increased desertification and pollution levels of water resources were catastrophic if not handled with care.

The project aims at monitoring the River Nile water levels and generating data for forecasting weather patterns in the region.

It is also aimed at monitoring and controlling pollution levels in the river and the lakes that feed it.

The workshop, funded by the Italian Government and supervised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), drew participants from Burundi, Egypt, Eriteria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

FAO country representative Ajmal M. Qureshi said 160m people live in the Nile Basin that spans over 3m square km, with half the basin countries among the world's poorest.

He said the countries were bedeviled with civil strife, drought, hunger, disease, weak institutions, poverty and ignorance.

Qurash said the basin offered great opportunity for socio-economic development if there were joint efforts equitable water resource utilisation.

He said the workshop would review the achievements so far made.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2004 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.