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Nile basin water and power projects require Ksh200m funding, says minister

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The Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP), an investment programme under the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), requires Ksh200 billion ($ 2.0 million) to finance 37 out of a pipeline of 70 water and power projects over the next five years.

The investment projects are expected to stimulate economic growth, foster regional integration, promote trade and enhance Nile basin cooperation among the riparian states.

Speaking at the opening the NBI/NELSAP first investment Project Conference in Nairobi on Thursday, Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, said Kenya supports development of in-country and shared water resources among the Nile basin countries as this will elevate economic status of the people in these countries.

“To achieve this, we all need to understand that sustainable management and equitable utilisation of the common water resources calls for closer and strong cooperation among the riparian countries,” he said. “The success of these priority projects requires substantial financial investment with necessities support from development partners.”

NELSAP promotes investments in power development, power transmission interconnection and power trade, water resources management as well as management of lakes and fisheries, agricultural development, and control of water hyacinth.

Engineer Elicad Elly Nyabeeya, NELSAP Regional Coordinator, added that interconnection of the electric grids project (930km of power transmission lines and associated 17 sub-stations) covering five Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are being coordinated by NELSAP.

Most of the critical power transmission will be completed in December 2016 to facilitate power exchange and trade between Kenya and Rwanda through Uganda. This section of the power transmissions under construction is one of the major sections under the Northern Corridor Integration projects.

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“More than 930km of new power transmission lines are being built, another 2,600km of electricity transmission lines are awaiting funding, while many more projects are in the pipeline, said Mr Nyabeeya. He said feasibility studies for interconnecting the Tanzania-Zambia 400kV power interconnection are on-going with funding from Norway and KFW.

The water resources development projects managed by NELSAP lie in the following sub-catchments basin areas: Mara River on the Kenya-Tanzania border, Sio/Malaba Malakisi River on the Kenya-Uganda border; River Kagera on the Tanzania-Uganda-Rwanda and Burundi border, Aswa River on the Uganda-South Sudan border and Lakes Edward and Albert on the Uganda-DRC border.

The Nile Equatorial Lakes region includes the six countries in the southern portion of the Nile Basin—Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda as well as the downstream riparians Egypt and Sudan.

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ZAINABU NURUhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Zainabu Nuru is a communications student at Laikipia University.
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