[dehai-news] (ION) KENYA/ETHIOPIA: Diplomatic conflict over water

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Sat Feb 28 2009 - 09:42:10 EST

Saturday the 28th of February, 2009


Diplomatic conflict over water

The level of water in Lake Turkana in Kenya has fallen by five metres
over the last two years, causing serious problems for the local fishing
The Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi considers this is the result
of the draught and climate change. On the other hand, the Kenyan
authorities blame on the two dams (used for irrigation and generating
electricity) that Ethiopia has built on the Omo.
 They claim that the dams reduced the river's flow into Lake Turkana.
The affair took on a political turn when the Kenyan Minister for Water
and Irrigation, Charity Ngilu, wrote to the Ethiopian government to
protest against its excessive use of water from the Omo and asking to
put an end to it. Ethiopia did not even take the trouble to reply.
So much so that last month Ngilu brought the problem before the Cabinet,
in the hope that the Kenyan government would intervene with the
Ethiopian authorities at a higher level.
Meanwhile, the Kenyan Cabinet advised him to raise the matter as "urgent
any other business" at the next meeting of the Nile Basin Initiative
which gathers countries bordering the Nile, scheduled in March.
The reason is that Lake Turkana is the source of the River Nzoia, which
flows into Lake Victoria, itself the source of the Nile.

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