A regional bureau responsible for coordinating Nile river development among Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt would be opened in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, reports said.
The three countries making up the East Nile Sub-Basin have established their own Action Plan (ENSAP), which will initially involve measures to prevent flooding and for establishing joint hydroelectric projects between Ethiopia and Sudan on the Baro, Akobo and Birbir rivers in western Ethiopia and eastern Sudan, according to Allafrica.com.
The decision was given a boost by a donors' conference in Geneva last week when the donors and the World Bank pledged US $140 million towards a Nile Basin Initiative, a statement on the World Bank web site said on Tuesday.
The aim is to develop water resources in ways that could benefit some 300 million people living in 10 countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC.
The World Bank statement pointed to a recent article in the 'Financial Times' (UK), which said the increasing population pressures, coupled with limited water access, had rendered conflict between Nile states a possibility. It said the threat would be reduced with the Nile Basin Initiative launching seven feasibility studies backed by a US $140 million grant. World Bank President James Wolfensohn pledged the Bank's support, and described the work as "a remarkable and fragile first step.”
Egyptian Minister of Works and Water Resources Mahmoud Abu Zaid said last month that Ethiopia’s dams were not cutting into Egypt’s share of Nile water, and denied that Israel had helped set up any such dams.
the minister said there was full coordination among the Nile basin countries to make optimal use of the river water.
He added that Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia had formed the committee about three weeks ago. The committee, he said, had toured all the Blue Nile areas on a fact-finding mission.
“The dam on (Ethiopia’s) Lake Tata was built in 1964 for electricity generation only, and not for water storage,” the minister said – Albawaba.com
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