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Everything is connected

MiCT The Niles
In this edition of The Niles our correspondents take a closer look at aspects that connect people throughout the Nile Basin countries.
10.08.2018  |  Berlin, Germany
 (photo: The Niles | Waakhe Simon Wudu)
(photo: The Niles | Waakhe Simon Wudu)

Everything is connected: the hydrology of the Nile with the never-ending circle of water, water with life and life with almost everything in the world.

So let’s have a look why countries that share a resource must join forces to protect their livelihoods.

This has been made easier by the opening of transportation connections across the Nile Basin region. Like a new 1,500-kilometre bus route between Addis Ababa and Khartoum, which has changed life for many along its path.

And a newly opened road along the Tanzanian and Burundian border has allowed the citizens of those countries to move and trade more freely.

In fact, trade has existed in this region since ancient times, which has long attracted the interest of foreigners, who have not always been altruistic with their investments in The Nile region.

Yet foreigners, such as the Japanese, have made significant investments in boosting hydroelectric power, helping Uganda realise a high voltage transmission line from Uganda to South Sudan.

Rwanda plans on a major increase in energy imports, mainly coming from Ethiopia, but the path goes through Kenya and Uganda, requiring a collaborative effort.

Indeed, all of the Nile Basin neighbours will have to put their resources together to deal with the unmistakable effects of climate change, which could have devastating effects in the region.

Yet Nile Basin neighbours have already begun to work together to deal with environmental issues like the water hyacinth, which looks like a lovely, floating flower but in reality, has wreaked havoc across Lake Tana.

And Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, who both share Lake Edward, must agree on fishing techniques to have a more cooperative and sustainable fishing culture.

And while Nile Basin countries exist within close proximity of one another, they speak different languages and have completely different educational systems. These differences make studying within the basin a challenge for some students and a life saver for others.

Yet differences in culture can often be opportunities to share and celebrate diversity, like in Uganda, which has one of the most liberal refugee programmes in the world and focuses on this diversity in its radio broadcasts directed at refugees, helping them integrate even better.

Connecting across cultural lines has been an essential part of the collaborative efforts of The Niles journalists themselves, who share how their professional and personal relationships have evolved over the years.

This article is part of:
Rain does not fall on one roof alone
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