NBD joined the NBI and the rest of the Nile riparian states for the 10th Regional Nile Day celebrations - 22nd February 2016 in Vihiga County, Kenya.
The NBI spearheaded the preparation of the annual event in collaboration with the NBD and the government of the host country-Kenya. The Kenya National Discourse Forum (KNDF) was part of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) in Kenya, while the NBD Secretariat worked as amember of the Regional Organizing Committee (ROC) spearheaded by the Nile-Sec in Entebbe, Uganda.
At the expo, NBD had an opportunity to interact with other exhibitors such asthe three centers of NBI (Nile-Sec, ENTRO, and NELSAP), National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya, Water Services Trust Fund-Kenya, Kenya Water Towers Agency, Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, Ministry of Water and Irrigation-Kenya, and Water Appeal Board-Kenya. NBD’s exhibition table was visited by fairly a number of people includingMinisters.
The Regional Nile Day 2016 Celebrations was attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries, Permanent Secretaries, members of diplomatic community, Development Partners, Researchers, Academia, Civil society organizations, Youth, International and National media houses, school children, and communities of the Vihiga County.
The Celebration was officiated by Professor Judi WangalwaWakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources-Kenya. In her speech, she stressed thatsustainable and efficient management of the Nile resources is a matter of life/survival as millions of newly born people join the Nile community every year in the face of climate change and land degradation. “Addressing challenges of Nile cooperation requires joint action and confidence/trust building,” said the Cabinet Secretary of Kenya. She reminded participants about the Theme of the Nile Day:“The Nile cooperation: Gateway to regional integration,” andsaid that regional integration is possible through activities “which focus on our common culture and unity within our diversity.” She remarked that “NBI is one of the great pillars among our common institutions for regional cooperation and integration that guides and advises riparian countries on how to share the Nile River resources.” She finally appealed to the Nile community to enhance socio-economic benefits to the Nile citizens through increased and sustainable cooperation.
At the Celebration, NBD was given a slot where the NBD Board chairperson, Jean Baptiste Habiyaremyedelivered a speech. In his deliberations, the chairunderlined NBD’s mandate to foster cooperation within the Nile riparian states through increased people to people relationships/interactions under its motto of “One-Nile One-Family.”The chair disclosed that NBD is working hard to contribute to overcoming challenges surfacing the Nile Basin region such as impacts of climate change, inclusivity of stakeholders in the Nile development and cooperation agenda, and mainstreaming gender in the sustainable development of water.Mr Jean Baptiste, added that“currently NBD is making contributions to NBI’s Subsidiary Action programs (SAP) development agenda of projects supported by two centers namely ENTRO and NELSAP, in the sub-basins of Aswa-Nyimur of South Sudan and Uganda; the Baro-Akobo-Sobat of Ethiopia and South Sudan; and the Lakes Edward - Albert Fisheries (LEAF) of D.R. Congo and Uganda.”
He concluded his speech by reiterating NBD’s readiness to work closely with NBI to foster cooperation and supporting any initiative that leads to the regional integration.He said “Nile is our history, Nile is our resource. On the Nile, we are the family let us join our hands for it and sustain it.”