River Nile stalemate: Why Egypt is bullying its neighbours

Omukama of Bunyoro Solomon Gafabusa Iguru (left) at the bottom of Murchison Falls on River Nile. The river runs through 10 countries. FILE PHOTO

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Sharing the Nile. The British in 1929 gave Egypt a bigger share of the Nile water, almost three-quarters of the total water volumes, due to its strategic importance to the Queen’s empire. But close to 90 years later, new water resource allocations among 10 countries are yet to be drawn, writes Frederic Musisi.

Ministers in charge of water affairs from the 10 countries sharing the River Nile met in Entebbe last week for the 24th Nile Council to discuss financing of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and review protocols of the water sharing initiative.
But as expected, Egypt’s minister of water resources and irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty once again slammed the 2010 Nile Sharing Protocol which the country refused to sign, describing it as “unfair”, and called for its continuous “review” or else the status quo will remain.
Mr Aty re-echoed his country’ stand that, “We are not against countries building dams, but we want to give advice on how these dams are constructed to keep the water’s natural flow.”
To paint the pricelessness of the fresh Nile waters, he added, his fellow countrymen have reached the extent of recycling drainage water to preserve the water.
“If there is no River Nile, there is no Egypt,” Mr Aty noted.

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