Monday, October 4, 2010

Who cares what happens to the Mara?

Just saw this news article and found it interesting.  Here is an excerpt...

Mohamed Mohiedeen is an Egyptian sociologist who has long been critical of Egypt's stance on regional Nile issues.

"We think we are unique. We think that we are superior. There is a 1929 and a 1959 agreement and they are recognized by the international community, and whatnot and all that," Mohiedeen says. "But the other part of the story is we are not doing the necessary things to ease our own problems."

Egypt and neighboring Sudan are refusing to sign a new agreement with other Nile basin countries to more equitably share the water. But if the other countries agree to the old colonial guarantees, it could be hydro-suicide for them.

John Nyaro is Kenya's chief negotiator among the Nile basin countries. A number of Kenya's rivers empty into Lake Victoria, at the beginning of the White Nile.

"We cannot convince our people that that water belongs to Egypt or Sudan or another country," Nyaro says. "In Mara, Maasai Mara, if a Maasai is crossing the river Mara with his cattle, can he convince those cows, 'No, you cannot drink this water. This water belongs to Egypt?'"

Mohiedeen says the only way forward is to lower expectations for water usage within Egypt. Chances are Egyptians will continue making do with less, he says.

Just another remind of the international importance of maintaining flows in the Mara River.
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