columns

Uganda the Source of White Nile, and a Mediator to Solving the Crisis of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Badreldeen khalafallah

Researchers have not ruled out Uganda’s entry into the regional and international conflict over the Nile waters, and observers fear that the rivalry will intensify in light of the great dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam between Ethiopia, one of the two upstream countries, and the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan. The life of Ugandans has been associated with the Nile since ancient times. Thousands of Ugandans have lived at Lake Victoria for hundreds of thousands of years, farming and fishing on its shores. Therefore, the Nile was linked to their lives and their source of livelihood. Lake Victoria, the source of the White Nile, is fed by several rivers from the surrounding mountains, and it forms with Lake Tana. The source of the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian plateau when they meet in the Sudanese capital, the Nile River.

‏which flows into the Mediterranean through the Sudanese and Egyptian lands. Lake Victoria (about 32 km from the capital Kampala) is the second-largest freshwater lake in the world and the largest in Africa, with a depth of 82 meters at its deepest point. It is one of the African Great Lakes, overlooked by 3 countries: Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It also includes about 3 Thousands of islands, some of it which have become a destination for many tourists. Agriculture in Uganda represents an important resource and one of the most important export sectors in the country, and contributes to nearly half of the total exports, despite the presence of some obstacles that prevent increasing production, such as financing and investment, and lack of timely information. Victoria Falls is an essential tributary of the Nile River and a source of livelihood.

Ibrahim al-Sharif, a resident from Victoria Islands, says that the lake represents a source of life for many residents, a source of pride, and a historical and cultural landmark before it was a source of water. In his speech to workers eye, he indicated that the islanders depend on the lake for their whole lives, as crops are irrigated from it, and it is a resource for fishing and electricity production. He stressed that the source of the Nile is a tourist place that contributes to the national income and provides employment for the islanders. Uganda’s population has increased significantly in the past 20 years. According to the preliminary results of the National Population and Housing Census conducted by the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics in 2014, the population increased from 24.2 million in 2002 to about 41 million in 2019.

Water Conflict

Observers fear the intensification of competition and conflict over the Nile waters in light of the great dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam between Ethiopia – one of the two upstream countries – and the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, in light of fears that the crisis will enter a dangerous turn with the approach of the second filling of the Renaissance Dam. The academic researcher in Ugandan universities, Dr. Idris Mohmed Osman, did not rule out Uganda’s entry into the regional and international conflict line regarding the Nile water, as he expected – in his talk to a new vision – That neighboring South Sudan demand its full share of the Nile waters. He described the conflict over water as dangerous, and considered that the Nile water-sharing agreement signed between Egypt and Sudan in 1959 was unjust to Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda, pointed out that some downstream and upstream countries did not accept the agreement.

Last may The President was meeting Dr. Mariam Alsadig Al Sedeeg Al Mahadi a Special Envoy from the Transitional Sovereignty Council Chairman and army commander of the Republic of Sudan, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and President Yoweri Museveni has said that the countries on the course of the River Nile must plan together for the sustainability of the water of the Nile.

Abiding

“The River Nile is not for sovereignty. It is for common use as an asset. Its sustainability requires strategic discussion and planning by the stakeholders to reinstate the volume of the water by working on the environment and wetlands that are part of the water cycle. The biggest problem affecting the river is environmental degradation,” he said.

Dams on the Nile

Ugandan journalist writer Baker Pat Lol revealed to workers eye Uganda now has 3 major dams on the river, Nalupali Dam, Bujagali Power Dam, and Karma Dam, which are the main source of electricity production in Uganda. He added that the Ugandan part of the Nile is home to several waterfalls, such as Murchison Falls and Lake Victoria Falls, which are natural sources that attract tourists. Pat Lol ruled out Uganda’s entry into any conflict with the Nile Basin countries, because of its self-sufficiency in water and its enjoyment of many other Nile sources. A few months ago, during his meeting with the head of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereign Council, -General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in Kampala, Museveni reiterated his call to resolve the Nile water issues at an international conference hosted by the Ugandan in the capital Kampala shortly.

On March 9, Ethiopia rejected a Sudanese proposal supported by Egypt to form an international mediation quartet that includes the United Nations, the United States, and the European and African Unions, to resolve the stalled negotiations over 10 years. Addis Ababa insists on a second filling of the dam with water next July, even if it does not reach an agreement, while Cairo and Khartoum insist on reaching first a tripartite agreement that preserves their water facilities and ensures the continued flow of their annual shares of the Nile water, which amount to 55.5 billion and 18.5 billion cubic meters, respectively.

Back to top button