Part of Z-A Engineering Consulting team led by Ms. Elizabeth Kharono (right back) and the NBD Secretariat team led by Ms. Hellen Natu (right front), in discussions at the NBD Secretariat Office in Entebbe, Uganda. August 2016. Courtesy, NBD
The Nile Basin Discourse (NBD), a key stakeholder in the Nyimur Project, contributed to preliminary discussions with the consulting team on the socio-economic baseline of the Nyimur multipurpose water resources project studies for implementation. This was during a working visit which took place on August 22nd 2016 at the NBD Secretariat. The Issues of discussion centred on understanding NBD’s stake in the project and getting its insights and suggestions on what it considers as pertinent gender and socio-economic issues that should inform the feasibility study.

The Nyimur multipurpose water resources project is a brain child of the Nile Basin Initiative’s Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP). It is to be implemented as trans-boundary at both the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Uganda sides. On implementation, it is to reduce poverty and increase economic growth of the people by improving availability of water resources for livelihood as well as productive activities, such as agriculture. Ultimately, the project is aimed at improving, the two countries’ socio-economic development through water resources management and development, to increase water availability through flood mitigation, irrigation agriculture, electricity generation, fisheries and water supply and sanitation in both Uganda and South Sudan.

The Nile Basin Discourse plays vital roles in this project because of its mandate to communicate information of the NELSAP – Nyimur project to communities, consult on the emerging issues prior to and during implementation of the project, and facilitate discourse platforms on cooperation.

Therefore for the baseline, the stake of the Nile Basin Discourse in the Nyimur multipurpose water resources project is the trans-boundary discourse on vulnerability reduction, especially through trade of agricultural products and cooperation of the two countries on the shared water resources. The stake is a follow-up of NBD’s activities initiated in September 2015 in Lamwo district, Uganda and also in March 2016 in Magwi County, South Sudan with support from the Cooperation on International Waters of Africa (CIWA)/World Bank, Phase1. NBD in collaboration with the NELSAP, the governments and the National Discourse Forums (NDFs) of South Sudan and Uganda, successfully participated in national task force meetings and held grassroots consultations with citizens of the two countries, to hear their voices on the Nyimur project and also to create a sense of ownership of the project.  The citizen’s earnest voices, especially from the women, were mainly on the transboundary access to markets, and on peace and cooperation of the two Nile Basin countries.

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