Twenty-three journalists from 11 countries in the Nile Basin spent a week, August 10-15, exploring issues related to the crucial river. The training focused on issues such as the impact of development and population increases on the Nile, agricultural development and the effects of dam construction on downstream countries like Egypt. The journalists visited the Bujagali Dam in Jinja, Uganda and toured Lake Victoria, the large lake fed by the Nile. They developed story ideas, including “Who Owns the Nile,” and “The Role of Dams on the Nile.” Several speakers came from the Nile Basin Initiative, a regional inter-governmental initiative dedicated to managing water-related resources in the Nile Basin. NBI was a partner in the training.
Ugandan opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye told the group that managing the Nile resources was crucial for future political leaders. “Nile water is going to be a major center of conflict,” Besigye said. “If we are talking about developing agriculture to a commercial level, we hope to draw more water from the Nile that could spark off conflicts with countries in the North,” he
Journalists said the training gave them a new appreciation for how the Nile tied them together. “Finally home, but the Nile Basin is our bigger home so we should cooperate and develop it and make good use of its sources,” said Egyptian journalist Mohamed Wadie. Added Kevin Omollo of Kenya: “Let’s keep the promise of continuing with the cooperation and also inform the public on the right perspective of Nile Basin Issues.”
The training was organized by the BBG with funds from the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science.