NBI supports improvement of water quality monitoring networks in the Nile Basin

Saturday 24th of September 2022

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) are implementing the Nile Cooperation for Climate Resilience (NCCR) Project, which is financially supported by the World Bank through the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) Trust Fund.

In this project, Nile-SEC supports improvement of national water quality monitoring networks and regional water quality information systems to facilitate basin states to take joint actions to address and reverse the impacts of deteriorating water quality in different parts of the basin. Thus, NBI subcontracted the consultant, i.e. WSS Ltd to support the installation and procurement of water quality monitoring equipment in the Nile Basin countries.

To this end, the NBI Secretariat in July 2022, conducted a regional workshop in Kigali, Rwanda to review and validate an inception report of consultancy services and to introduce the Regional Water Quality Working Group Members to the NCCR Water Quality Activities executed by Nile-SEC on enhancing availability and use of water quality data.

Thus, NCCR project was developed following the HydroMet design report produced in 2015 and supported by German Cooperation through GIZ. Due to the time that has elapsed, there is a need to update information and data provided in that report since it is possible that changes in the institutional and legal frameworks for water quality management might have occurred.

The suggestion to update the information and data since the 2015 report was one of the recommendations at the regional water quality workshop held in Kigali/Rwanda between 7th and 8th July 2022.  Therefore, from 23rd July 2022, Nile-SEC in collaboration with the Nile Basin Member States and WSS Ltd are conducting water quality kick-off meetings and countries’ needs assessment.

The objectives of the countries’ needs assessment are to meet the Nile Technical Advisory Committees members (Nile-TAC) and the national water quality task team (NWQTs), in each country, to conduct site visits of the stations to be equipped with water quality sensors, to update the proposal on water quality, sediment field tool kits and on laboratory equipment to be supplied and to update the needs of each laboratory selected to benefit NCCR basic water quality equipment and on laboratory accreditation.

After these missions, the consultant will be able to provide updated designs of water quality monitoring network and lab improvements for each country, establish a connection between the national water quality management system and develop procedures for forwarding data the NBI regional data management system, and develop technical specifications of lab equipment, WQ field kits and sensors and initiate its procurement.

Currently the kick-off meetings and water quality needs assessment were conducted in five countries, namely; Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.