Kampala: Renowned Kenyan lawyer and Pan-Africanist Prof. Patrick Lumumba has challenged African states that share the Nile River to use the water resource responsibly to boost agricultural productivity and industrialisation and industrial growth through hydro power production.
Lumumba made these remarks while delivering a keynote address during the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) that is underway in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel, in Kampala. He further challenged regional leaders to use the Nile waters in a manner that will help Africa realise its development goals.
“What can we do in order to ensure that we use these waters in a manner that is going to help us realise our goals? To have water basically to improve our health because you need a healthy population, to improve our agriculture,” adding that in the next five years the African continent needs to move away from rain-dependent agriculture and embrace modern methods of irrigation to improve the quality of agricultural production.
The three-day forum is running under the theme: “Deepening Nile Cooperation, Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate” has attracted delegates from Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan.
“We should stop praying and fasting for rain but use these trans-boundary waters for irrigation purposes. That is what has happened in other parts of the world, and if we did this then Africa could benefit from this.
The Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) is a high-level regional event convened every three years by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in collaboration with its Member States and in partnership with development partners. The event is a science-policy dialogue that provides an opportunity for sharing latest information, knowledge and best practices as well as building partnerships among professionals, in trans-boundary water resources management and development. The objectives of the Forum are to build common understanding on the status of the water and natural resources base of the Nile Basin among stakeholders, examine the shared complex challenges and exchange perspectives on the solutions for addressing these challenges. Six editions of the NBDF have taken place, with the last edition held on February 22nd to 7th May 2021 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.