KAMPALA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- At least 11 countries in the Nile Basin have gathered in Uganda to discuss the exploitation of water resources as the region tackles the challenges posed by climate change.
Senior officials from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Egypt have convened for the 31st Nile Council of Ministers Meeting held in Kampala under the theme: "Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate."
Uganda's Vice President Jessica Alupo who opened the meeting on Monday, said that the challenges posed by floods, droughts and environmental instability require a collective response from the Nile Basin countries.
"There is a need to strengthen resilience while mitigating activities that contribute to global warming," Alupo said.
The vice president also said that, despite the River Nile being the longest river in Africa, misuse has led to it not releasing as much water into the ocean as other shorter rivers like the Zambezi and Congo.
"Increasing population growth, rampant environmental degradation, land use changes, rapid urbanization and industrialization, uneven distribution of water resources, loss of biodiversity, and the impacts of climate change remind us of the significance of our collective efforts to ensure the responsible use and sustainable management of the Nile's life-giving waters," Alupo said.
She also listed opportunities within the basin that can be exploited without endangering the environment.
"Together, our countries should lay the foundation through strong basin governance, investments, and knowledge and information sharing for a brighter future for all the nations that call the Nile Basin their home," Alupo said. ■