The four East African countries which share waters of River Kagera are in the process of developing a cooperative framework that will allow them to jointly manage the river's resources.
The four countries are Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.
The cooperative framework is being developed under the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Programme which is part of the wider Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
NBI brings together the 10 countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Eritrea with the aim of equitably sharing the waters of the Nile for social-economic development in a more sustainable way.
The project's manager, Mr Isah Kiti Nabide, who is based in Kigali, Rwanda says the project aims at addressing key areas of social economic development and poverty reduction.
"The project will address sustainable management of water resources of the river and improve the economic and social conditions of people living along the River Kagera basin and protect the environment,'' Mr Nabide said.
He explained that while the river basin resources has great potential for investment activities, the area is characterised by rampant land degradation, deforestation and rudimentary agricultural activities, widespread poverty and conflicts.
"The river has several sites for hydropower development including the rapids at Kikagati and Nsongyezi and is being used for irrigation of sugarcane plantation in Tanzania. The river course is also being considered for development into a major transport route for exports and imports between Rwanda and Burundi,'' he said.
National consultative meetings on the proposed framework for the joint management of the Kagera Basin have already commenced in the four countries.The Kagera river basin covers an area of 59,700 km.
State Minister for Water Jenniffer Namuyangu said the cooperative framework will help the riparian countries identify ways in which they can use the water resources to maximise social economic development.
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