Foreword

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Esteemed Reader,

Hon. Eng Gerson Lwenge (MP)
Chairperson, Nile Council of Water Ministers Minister of Water and Irrigation, United Republic of Tanzania

The Nile Basin is one of the few  basins of the world that has given  birth to early human civilization.  The Basin is as relevant to  humanity today as it was in  the past millennia. This said  though, the Basin is facing huge  challenges. While economies of  most of its countries are growing,  the Basin is faced with a rising  population, which increases  degradation of natural resources  and puts pressure on economic  infrastructure including water.  It also increases food security  concerns and leads to rural urban  migration with the attendant  problems of rapid urbanization.

These and more developments  are one way or the other  predicated on continued  availability of Nile waters. But  the Nile is, as it were, a very  finite and fragile resource,  marked by alteration of extreme  events of either prolonged  droughts or floods of biblical  proportions. In the midst of this,  the Nile is going to face growing  pressure in the coming decades  due to continued steady rise in  the demand for water. All this  requires: more – and not less –  basin wide cooperation; smarter,  forward looking, knowledge  based and prudent basin-wide  water resources management  and development policies, which  ultimately should result in  enhanced water use efficiency  and productivity across economic  sectors and countries.

The Nile Basin Water Resources  Atlas is one such knowledge  tool developed by NBI. The  Atlas makes the data and  information accessible in a  format that is easy, succinct  and visually attractive. By  providing a bird’s eye view of  the potentials, problems and  trends in the Basin, I hope this  Atlas contributes to advancing  our mission of encouraging  thoughtful deliberation among  basin policy makers, citizens and  all concerned  for the future of  this great River of ours – the Nile!

With best wishes

Hon. Eng Gerson Lwenge (MP)
Chairperson, Nile Council of Water Ministers (2015 – 2016)
& Minister of Water and Irrigation,
United Republic of Tanzania

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