Nile Basin Agreement

In May 2010, five upstream states signed an agreement to extract more water from the Nile – a move that Egypt and Sudan strongly opposed. [5] The Framework Cooperation Agreement (FCA), which has been negotiated for years under the NBI, should be open for signature for a period of one year. [19] Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania have signed the agreement. Ethiopia ratified it in 2013. [20] The DRC should also sign, while Egypt and Sudan should not. An Egyptian government spokesman said in May 2010 that “Egypt will not accede to or sign any agreement regarding its share.” [5] It must also contain a termination clause allowing any riparian State to terminate the contract with notice. The regional watershed management project aims to establish sustainable watersheds on the Tekeze, Atbara, Mareb, Abbay/Blue Nile and Baro/Akobo/Sobat rivers in Ethiopia and Sudan. The first project sites identified include Lake Nasser/Nubia in Egypt; the Jamma, Reb and Gumara sub-basins and the management of the Tana-Beles watersheds under the Tana-Beles Integrated Water Resources Development Project in Ethiopia; and the lower Atbara, the Ingessena Mountains and the areas around The Dinder National Park in Sudan. These disagreements over the use of the Nile are not new and have a long history due to the high dependence of these countries on the waters of the Nile. In 1929, an agreement was reached between Egypt and Britain on the use of water from the Nile – Britain is said to have represented its colonies in the Nile Basin.

[1] The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty dealt with many issues related to the Nile and its tributaries. It is particularly important for this discussion that he has granted Egypt an annual allocation of water of 48 billion cubic meters and Sudan 4 billion cubic meters with an estimated average annual yield of 84 billion cubic meters. In addition, the 1929 agreement granted Egypt a veto over construction projects on the Nile or one of its tributaries in order to minimize any impact on the flow of water into the Nile. In the case of the Nile Basin, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have two options. To this day, Egypt maintains that the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1929 and its amended version, the 1959 Agreement, are still valid. The 1959 agreement, signed by Egypt and an independent Sudan, increased Egypt`s share to 55.5 billion cubic meters and Sudan`s to 18.5 billion. The first agreement was reached between Britain as a colonial power in East Africa and Egypt. Cairo has been preferred to other riparian states as an important agricultural product. Moreover, the Egyptian-operated Suez Canal was crucial to the ambitions of the British Empire. The other option, probably the best, is to manage all dams through the Nile Basin Commission – an organization provided for in the Framework Cooperation Agreement. This was an attempt by riparian states to create a basin-wide framework to regulate the intergovernmental use and management of the Nile. All Nile Basin states, with the exception of Egypt and Sudan, agreed.

These developments mean that Egypt`s insistence that the old agreements remain intact is no longer feasible. In addition, Ethiopia must also recognize Egypt`s water needs and use its large dam to regulate the Nile – not for its blockade. And all Nile Basin states must work together for Africa`s peace and prosperity. But there is enough evidence to highlight the need for flexibility in agreements on how the dam is filled. For example, there must be allocations to meet scenarios of increased water availability and flooding or water scarcity and drought. The CFA was ready to be signed on May 10, 2010; Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have signed it; and the Ethiopian Parliament has ratified it. However, Egypt and Sudan argued that their “acquired rights” over the waters of the Nile would not be protected and immediately expressed their intention not to sign the agreement because they objected to the wording of Article 14(b): “The Nile Basin States therefore agree in a spirit of cooperation: […] (b) not significantly affect the water security of another State in the Nile Basin. They then proposed another formulation for Article 14(b): “The Nile Basin States therefore agree in a spirit of cooperation: […] (b) not to significantly affect water security and the current uses and rights of another Nile Basin State” (emphasis added). This formulation has been rejected by upstream riparian states, who argue that the phrase “current uses and rights” would anchor the concept of older rights, including those created by the Nile Water Accords, and effectively maintain the injustice and injustice that has characterized the allocation and use of water in the Nile Basin since the 1920s. In 1999, the Nile Riparian States [1], with the exception of Eritrea, signed the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) to improve cooperation in the use of “common water resources of the Nile Basin”. Under the auspices of the NBI, riparian States began to develop what they saw as a permanent legal and institutional framework for the management of the Nile Basin. The Framework Cooperation Agreement (GFA), as it is known, formally introduced the concept of equitable water allocation into discussions on Nile governance, as well as a complex concept called “water security”.

The 1929 and 1959 agreements both sparked resentment and demands for changes to the pact among the other Nile states, which Egypt resisted. The integration of flexible and robust legal and institutional arrangements into the new treaty is therefore crucial. These include drought provisions, flexible allocation strategies, change and review procedures, termination clauses and recognised river basin organisations. Studies suggest that there will likely be an increase in the average annual pool temperature. This would result in greater water loss due to evaporation. Changes are also expected in future rainfall, river currents and water availability in the Nile basin, although there is less certainty about them. This agreement between Egypt and Sudan, which complemented the previous agreement, gave Egypt the right to 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water per year and Sudan to 18.5 billion cubic meters per year. ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) – Water resources ministers from Nile Basin countries will meet in Alexandria, Egypt, on July 27-28 to discuss cooperation and a coherent framework agreement on the Nile.


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