The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has brought great harmony across border, thus becoming a pillar towards regional peace and integration, Cabinet secretary for Water and Sanitation Mr. Simon Chelugui has said.
He said the NBI has provided Kenyans with boundless unique opportunities for cooperation; it has also seen 11 member states making the Initiative initiate and implement joint investments through subsidiary action programs which have enhanced livelihoods, market integration and trade, movement of labour and preservation of and protection of ecosystems.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Senior Deputy Secretary in the department Teresa Wasike during the 13th Nile Day celebrations at Amagoro Primary School grounds on Friday, the CS said improper management of the shared water resource might result in conflicts among various water users within the Nile Basin region.
“Therefore, there is need to integrate the political goodwill, economic and social institutions in order to achieve equitable utilization and minimization of potential risks of conflicts, and to ensure sustainability of water resources,” he said.
Flanked by Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, the CS said the Nile River Basin is a trans-boundary resource shared by 11 countries having different and sometimes conflicting interests.
“This shared and scarce resource has significant impact on socio-economic and wellbeing of African people. The Nile River promotes poverty alleviation, stimulates economic growth and environmental degradation,” said the CS.
The theme for the 13th Nile Day celebrations was “NBI@20, STRONGER TOGETHER. The celebrations came at the time when Nile basin countries including Kenya have agreed on a “Shared Vision”.
Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi thanked the NBI, National Government and other development partners for the many water projects initiated in the county saying their completion will help address water challenges in the county.
Hon Mulomi thanked NBI for picking Busia County to host the celebrations saying the County Government has many plans to help supplement the national government’s efforts to provide residents with clean and safe water.