1959 Nile Water Agreement

Some of these hopes may be far-fetched. The dam will have turbines capable of producing 6,000 megawatts of power, making it the largest hydroelectric project in Africa. But external experts believe it will rarely be able to produce so much because there won`t be enough water in the river. One of them said, “You will only have 6000 MW for 1% of the time; 3,000 MW would have been better.┬áIt is unclear whether regional disputes over Nile water could trigger future conflicts or whether the cost of confrontation will prevent this outcome. In 1988, Egyptian Foreign Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali estimated that the Nile would undoubtedly trigger Egypt`s next war. Historically, Egypt has imposed its control over the Nile, granted by the colonial agreements of 1902, 1929 and 1959, to other nations in the Nile Basin. In 1970, Egypt threatened war because of the construction of the Fincha Dam in Ethiopia, and when Ethiopia tried to obtain financing from the World Bank, Egypt and Sudan invoked Article 3 of the 1902 treaty between Britain and Ethiopia. In 2004, Tanzania planned to build the pipeline to Lake Victoria, which would have benefited some 400,000 of its northwestern citizens. Egypt threatened to bomb the construction site, saying it needed the water to flow north into the Aswan Dam.

The 1929 agreement prevented Tanzania from blocking the waters of the Nile without British permission. As nations argue over who should have what share of the Nile River, it is unclear how many rivers there will be in the future. Climate change could radically change its watercourse. But climate modelers can`t figure out how. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has indicated that different model projections for the Nile for later in this century range from 30 percent more water to 78 percent less. The first agreement was reached between Britain as a colonial power in East Africa and Egypt. Cairo has been privileged over other riparian countries as an important agricultural property. In addition, the Suez Canal, operated by Egypt, was essential to British imperial ambitions.

Egypt therefore faces no viable options, with the exception of cooperation and the use of alternatives for the nile`s water supply. Cairo`s ultimatum to sign the new agreement only if colonial treaties were recognized did not find regional support. The country`s water research center has revealed that Egypt will most likely face severe water shortages and a devastating drought over the next fifteen years. Egypt and Sudan are outnumerous to other riparian countries that have signed or intend to sign the Entebbe Agreement, which is internationally recognized despite the renunciation of Egypt and Sudan. Although Egypt must cooperate, it sees the Nile as a source of national pride; Its relentless action in negotiations with local residents and allegations of existing water distribution will prevent immediate solutions. Other solutions that Egypt and other Nile countries need to consider include engaging non-state actors such as farmers, fishermen, pressure groups and NGOs. These mechanisms enable them to find cooperative solutions to conflicts and potential water crises. ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) – Water resources ministers from Nile Basin countries will meet from July 27 to 28 in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss cooperation and a successful framework agreement on the Nile. . . .

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