HotSpots H2O, March 7: African Leaders Debate Nile River Usage Rights

The Global Rundown

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni calls for “maximum consensus” as African leaders debate the Nile River’s usage rights. Drought in the Bay region of Somalia took the lives of over one hundred people in two days. Shelling destroys critical infrastructure in Ukraine and thousands of people have no water. India agrees to attend a Permanent Indus Commission to resolve dispute with Pakistan over the Indus Water Treaty. Conservation groups in Kenya encourage water sharing in an attempt to avoid violence between herders and farmers.

“When using the river, you must be mindful of other people who are also using it – including wild animals – or else there will be trouble.” –Kelena Ole Nchoe in regard to water sharing along southern Kenya’s Enkare Narok tributary. Ole Nchoe chairs a group of 12 water associations that educate farmers about water conservation and fair river usage. The group hopes to avoid violence between herders and farmers, which has been prevalent in northern Kenya as drought worsens. Reuters

By The Numbers

110 people  Number who died of starvation in drought-stricken Somalia in 48 hours, according to an official statement from the Somali Prime Minister. The number accounted for a single region of the country; death tolls for other regions were not announced. The Somali government recently declared the drought a national disaster. PBS NewsHour

6700 kilometers  Length of the Nile River, which runs through ten African countries. An agreement has been established to mandate the river’s use, but several leaders have yet to sign on. Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, is calling for more dialogue and less conflict as negotiations continue. All Africa

Science, Studies, And Reports

Ongoing fighting has devastated water supply facilities in Ukraine in recent months. In February, 880,000 people experienced water shortages longer than 24 hours, with thousands of others affected for shorter periods. As infrastructure crumbles, humanitarian efforts in the region remain underfunded. Relief Web  

On The Radar

India accepted an invitation from Pakistan to participate in a Permanent Indus Commission. The bilateral commission will determine the future of the Indus Water Treaty and will be held in Lahore, Pakistan at the end of the month. India Today