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Water source

Updated Thursday 7th April 2011

Alex Mulisa is from the Poverty Environment Initiative. He explains how critical the river Nile is to Rwanda


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Water Source

Alex Mulisa: Consultant / National Project Manager, Poverty Environment Inititiave (PEI), Rwanda

Alex Mulisa

Right to the west here over here, the south west I must say, is where it is believed the source of the Nile happens to be, and we know how critical the Nile is to Africa, to add to this the upstream from Rwanda to, through Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, and there is there projects like the Nile Basin Initiative, all those things speak of the importance of Rwanda.  One thing actually in recent times there is this World Bank sponsored project called Lake Victoria Environmental Management Plan.  Lake Victoria is very critical to east Africa’s livelihoods in terms of socioeconomic food supply through the fish and there has of recent been some fluctuations, and studies were conducted to show that there is extensive degradation in that area.  And while the project was initially restricted to the three countries that formally constituted east Africa, that’s Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, they had no choice but to through-cut to Rwanda and Burundi because of the relative importance as the watershed, as an upstream watershed positioned to impact everything downstream.  So Rwanda is critically positioned as the watershed country for east African region and for a good part of Africa, because when you talk of the Nile you even go as far as Ethiopia through the Brunei.  So that’s how important it is. 

One of the things that I sincerely believe is the fact that yes, there is these global events that are part of the climate change phenomenon, but we must act locally.  That sounds like a cliché but a real one, so we cannot separate the socioeconomic issues, heritage issues, livelihood issues generally from, we cannot divorce them from climate change impacts.  So we must act locally, but at the same time looking at the interconnectedness, trying to engage those partnerships, to put them in place so that effective environmental management protection locally, regionally and globally can actually take root because, quite frankly, we have no choice, either locally or globally, and we have realised that ecosystem rehabilitation and ongoing environmental management is going to leave us in a much better comfortable position, even in improving livelihoods locally and regionally. 

The other thing that I must talk about is the fact that we are becoming part of the integral east Africa, the regional initiatives that are poised to raise livelihoods, to raise incomes, to raise revenues, so there is a whole lot of hope.  You talk to people around us and they have hope and we really feel that we’re on track to realise these hopes, they are not empty hopes.




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