NAIROBI, Republic of Kenya – Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary, H.E. Dr. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH made a clarion call for the conservation of the Nile River Basin, saying, “We are united by the Nile; the Nile Basin has a great transformation potential for socio-economic development and human prosperity. Let us protect it from despair.” Dr. Mudavadi added that, “the water resource is not elastic hence the need to share the increasing scarcity of Nile water equitably among the Nile Basin countries.”
The call to action was made during the 17th Regional Nile Day celebrations held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Wednesday 22nd February 2023 celebrating the 24th year of NBI’s establishment in 1999. In recognition of the challenges that climate change has had on Nile Basin countries, the theme that was chosen for Nile Day 2023 was, “Deepening Nile Cooperation: Sustainable Development in a Changing Climate.”
Nile Council of Ministers delivered Country Statements highlighting each Member State’s commitment to the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), reflection on Nile cooperation, and the common basin challenge of climate change.
The Executive Director of NBI, Eng. Sylvester Matemu, in his remarks provided context for this year’s theme by explaining that the theme demonstrates the alignment of Nile Basin Member States to global priorities such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which Member States have committed to achieve by 2030. Nile Day 2023, Eng. Matemu remarked, will be “an opportunity for Member States to reflect on these commitments, challenges that might hinder their achievement, and opportunities available to improve on achieving them.”
Nile Day 2023 was preceded by a community clean-up activity of the Nairobi River at the Michuki Memorial Park, led by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation, H.E. Dr. Paul Kipronoh Ronoh. Delegates from the Nile Basin Member States, the Executive Director of NBI and NBI staff and staff from the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation participated in the clean-up.
The annual Nile Day event provides an opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of basin-wide Nile Cooperation in jointly taking good care of and utilising the shared Nile Basin water and related resources for win-win benefits. This is in addition to enhancing awareness about the consequences of non-cooperation as well as the challenges of Nile cooperation. Nile Day is also an occasion for participants to appreciate the rich and varied cultures which exist within the Nile Basin.