Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 June 2010
Five East African countries said on Sunday that they would not go back on a deal they signed to share River Nile waters that has drawn fierce criticism from Egypt and Sudan.
After more than a decade of talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a deal last month without their northern neighbours.
“The signed (agreement) can’t be unsigned,” Ethiopian minister for water resources, Asfaw Dingamo, told reporters. “But we hope to reach a consensus and I hope to do it very soon.”
The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries — Egypt, Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — one year to join the pact.
Stretching more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, the Nile is a vital water and energy source for the nine countries through which it flows.
Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have not signed the deal yet and have so far been tight-lipped about whether they plan to or not.
The latest meeting of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) ended with open disagreements at a press conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday. Continue reading