East Africa: EAC to Enhance Water Resources Management

FIVE East African Community (EAC), member countries are to benefit from the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP)'s establishment of a hydrological monitoring network of stations.

Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will have the stations meant to provide real time data and more reliable information to improve water resources planning and management both at national and regional levels.

The move will enable flood and drought disaster preparedness, monitoring of surface water quality and sediment transport, coordinated management of water storage dams, navigation and improved adaptation to climate change.

Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat Knowledge Management Officer, Ms Juliet Nakasagga told the 'Daily News' that the NELSAP component is part of the Nile Basin Regional Hydromet project that is a basin-wide Euros 5.5 million that is funded by the European Union (EU) -Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

"In the EU-BMZ funded project we will install a total of 80 hydrological stations across the Nile River basin. The project is being implemented by the three Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), centers and NELSAP is responsible for the Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL), region," said Ms Nakasagga.

As part of the hydrological package, each of the NEL countries will receive water level and rainfall sensors, data loggers, accessories necessary for installation and rehabilitation of selected stations, equipment for water discharge measurements and dual data transmission technology.

Each country will have the option to switch to either option for compliance with their national policy and country limitations.

National data centres will be equipped and countries will also receive a toolkit for water quality and sediment transport monitoring, accompanied with training for national staff.

Information products generated from data collected at the regional stations will be considered as final information for decision making and member states are putting in place a mechanism for sharing these.

Upon completion, the stations will be handed over to the countries for operation and maintenance.

Under the initiative, Tanzania will get eight stations at Mara River, Grumeti River, Ruvuvu River at Mumwendo Ferry, Mbarageti River, Duma River, Kagera River at Kyaka Ferry, Mara River at Kogatende and Simiyu River at Lumeiji.

As for Uganda, there will be 15 stations.

They will be at Lake Victoria at Jinja pier, River Katonga, River Kagera at Masangano, River Sio at Luhalali, River Bukora at Mutukula and Lake Kyoga at Bugondo Pier.

Others are Victoria Nile at Mbulamuti, River Malaba at Jinja, River Kyoga Nile at Masindi Port, River Kyoga Nile at Paraa, Lake Edward at Katwe, Lake Albert at Butiaba, River Semliki at Bweramule, Albert Nile at Laropi and at Panyango.

Rwanda will be supported to have seven stations at Gakindo, Gihinga, Kagitumba, Ruliba, Rusumo, Shell and Akagera Outlet.

Kenya is to have six stations at Nzoia, Yala, Nyando, Sondu Miriu, Gucha Migori and Mara. While Burundi gets two stations on Ruvubu River at Gitega and Muyinga, DRC will have a single station at the Semuliki River.

NELSAP is one of two investment programs under the NBI that is a partnership of the riparian states effective 1999.

It seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits and promote regional peace and security through its shared vision.

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