Kenya’s Deputy President H.E. William Ruto has noted the remarkable progress made in the pursuit of cooperation on the Nile under the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). “Already we can see great harmony across borders as nations initiate and implement joint investments that will lead to enhanced livelihoods, market integration and trade, movement of labor and preservation and protection of ecosystems,” he said.
This was during celebrations to mark the 10th Regional Nile Day celebrations held recently at Vihiga Friends High School in Kenya under the theme “Nile Cooperation: Gateway to Regional Integration.”
In a speech read for him by Judi Wakhungu, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Environment, and Natural Resources, H.E. Ruto said addressing the multiple challenges such as climate change in the Nile Basin requires concerted efforts through dialogue, negotiation, trust and confidence building to achieve the fruits of cooperation
He noted that with almost half of its water resources within the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya considers the Nile Basin as a region of strategic importance in terms of meeting its water demands and improving livelihoods through regional integration. He called for a reflection on the vulnerability of the River Nile and its people.
Speaking at the event, the NBI Executive Director, John Rao Nyaoro, HSC said NBI has over the years promoted dialogue, negotiation, trust and confidence and entrenched these values in the organisation’s efforts to promote Nile cooperation.
Nile Day is commemorated annually at regional and national levels across the 10 NBI Member States to celebrate the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on 22 February, 1999.
The celebrations were attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries (Nile Council of Ministers); officials from Ministries whose activities touch on the management and development of the shared water resources, namely Water, Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Finance. Others are Members of Parliament, Development Partners, Researchers, Academia, Civil society, Youth, Media, school children and the general public.