March 16, 2013 (ENTEBBE/JUBA) – South Sudan is among countries to benefit from a $15.3m project, aimed at facilitating cooperative water resource management and development as part of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
The NBI is a regional intergovernmental partnership that seeks to develop the River Nile in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits and promote regional peace and security.
Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda are all member states.
The project, dubbed the Nile Cooperation for Results (NCORE) was officially launched on Saturday at the opening of the 38th Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) meeting at the NBI Secretariat in Entebbe, Uganda.
According to the NBI Secretariat, the NCORE project was developed to strengthen platforms and knowledge-based analysis of trans-boundary options for sustainable basin-wide cooperative planning, management and development of member states’ water resources.
“As members of the Nile-TAC, we are committed to the project objectives and we look forward for effective project implementation”, said Mugisha Shillingi, an official from Uganda’s ministry of water and environment.
The scheme will reportedly be implemented in three components, focusing on advancing Nile Basin-wide cooperation and analysis, promotion of sustainable development and planning in the Nile Equatorial Lakes region, as well as dam safety related initiatives, among others.
The two-year project will reportedly be funded by the Nile Basin and the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) trust funds, both administered by the World Bank.
“The NCORE project is the first phase of the five-year Nile Basin Climate Resilient Growth Program (NBCRG) supported by a number of donors and a constituent part of NBI’s overarching five-year strategic plan for the period 2012-2016”, the statement from the NBI secretariat reads in part.
The project builds on and consolidates NBI’s achievements, it added.
Teferra Beyene, the executive director of the NBI secretariat, said all efforts are underway, with help from development partners, to ensure the five-year strategic plan is fully implemented.
He also disclosed that the German government, through its aid arm (GIZ), pledged to extend its support to the NBI for another three years, earmarking about €4 million (US5.23 million).
Last year, the secretariat closed down a four-year Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP), designed to assist Nile-TAC members achieve a strong institutional foundation to deliver their core functions.