NAIROBI, May 22, 2010 – Kenya on Wednesday signed a new treaty for the
equitable sharing of waters of the Nile after four other upstream
countries inked the deal last week.
Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda signed the Nile Basin Cooperative
Framework on Friday despite strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan
"We have all come to this agreement and therefore nothing stops us from
using the waters as we wish," Water Minister Charity Ngilu said.
"It is now up to Egypt and Sudan to come on board and agree with us to
share these waters."
The new agreement is to replace a 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan
that gives them control of more than 90 percent of the water flow.
The upstream countries want to be able to implement irrigation and
hydropower projects in consultation with Egypt and Sudan, but without
Egypt being able to exercise the veto power it was given by a 1929
colonial-era treaty with Britain.
"We actually said that we will ensure that no significant harm would be
done to any of the riparian states in the use of this water," Ngilu
"However that is what they do not want and two states out of nine cannot
stop us from now implementing this Cooperative Framework Agreement,"
Egypt has dismissed the new treaty as non-binding and rejected any deal
that diminished its lion's share of the river.
Egypt and Sudan have both expressed fears that their water supply would
be severely reduced if the seven other Nile users divert the river with
domestic irrigation and hydropower projects.