The 20 Nile Day Celebrations held on 22nd February 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda featured interventions coordinated regionally by Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) in the 5 Partner States of the East African Community (EAC).
Sectoral interventions emphasized in the 20th Nile Day Celebrations included, but not limited to water security, sanitation, hygiene, sustainable water management, climate change adaptions, among others.
To fit into such sectoral discussions in Nile Day Celebrations, participants from LVBC presented and exhibited the Commission’s contributions in sustainable management of a key global water resource—Lake Victoria and the Lake Victoria Basin through programmatic interventions in the 5 EAC Partner States.
Owing to the complexity of managing transboundary resources in most basins, delegates underscored effective cooperation as one of the pathways for sustainable development in the wider water basins.
The 20th Anniversary reflects commendable commitments by NBI riparian countries some of which equally constitute members of the EAC Partner States—Rwanda, Burundi, the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda—the host of the Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat.
Eng. Innocent Ntabana, Executive Director of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) commended the existing strategic partnership between East African Community through Lake Victoria Basin Commission and Nile Basin Initiative.
Touring and exploring LVBC Knowledge Products exhibited at 20 Nile Exhibition, NBI Executive Director also informed Ministers about sectoral synergies and LVBC-NBI cooperation anchored on Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two basin-based inter-governmental regional organizations.
Delegates to the Nile Day Conference an integral activity of 20 Nile Day Celebrations reiterated the importance of inter-state cooperation, collective sharing of resource benefits, dialogue and placing water security at the center of regional transformation and sustainable development of countries in the Nile Basin.
All the above points reflected the guiding theme of 20th Nile Day Celebrations "Stronger Together" a message emphasizing sustainable future through effective management of trans-boundary resources such as Lake Victoria and River Nile.
Representing the Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Isaac Nyarwaya, Principal Resource Officer handed-over Lake Victoria Basin Atlas to Ministers from Nile riparian countries and other participants. The Lake Victoria Basin: Atlas of Our Changing Environment (2017) is a Knowledge Management Product aimed at guiding policy and decision-making within the Lake Victoria Basin while also showcasing the value of EAC regional integration.
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water & Sanitation, Republic of Kenya, Simon Kipromo Chelugui, commended policy formulation and strategic guidance aimed at bettering lives of people in the Nile Basin.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary highlighted harsh climatic extremes and their associated consequences in all riparian countries of Nile as a critical challenge still barring the actualizations of development aspirations for many countries. He also recommended countries to prioritize projects and programmes of regional significance for sustainable management of shared resources—Rivers Nile, Lake Victoria and Water Towers.
Dr.Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment, Republic of Rwanda, the guest of honor of the Nile Day Celebrations reiterated the strategic value of partnership as one of the strategies for achieving regional agendas. He called for Nile Riparian Countries to acknowledge the existence of challenges and harness new technologies to improve water use and application of Integrated Water Management Approaches to reverse water scarcity challenges.
The guest of honor also applauded the spirit of cooperation which characterized Nile riparian countries and recommended it should be promoted for the sustainability of achieved successes in the 20 years of NBI’s existence.