Environmental Issues and the Hydro-politics of the Eastern Nile Basin: Conflict and Cooperation in a Transboundary Watercourse
Environmental Issues and the Hydro- politics of the Eastern Nile Basin: Conflict and Cooperation in a Transboundary Watercourse By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw June 2011 Dilla University
Environment and Politics Environment: What it Consists? “… the natural resources and ecosystems upon which humanity is dependent on for survival….” (Mason 2004). Land Water Biodiversity air
Envt and … politics of environment environmental issues are at the center of the 21st Century Global/International politics. These includes • climate change • environmentally induced conflicts over scarce resources • poverty in the third world as a result of environmental degradation and poor policy issues and matters
Envt and… environmental issues and problems never knows boundary-we can not chose our neighbors environmental issues in transboundary rivers are aspects of politics, b/c these issues • involves sovereign states • involves power • requires political commitment and decision making transboundary environmental issues and problems also entail both cooperation and conflict spillover effect of environmental related issues
Envt and … Hydropolitics Politics is about answering who gets, what, when and how (Harold Dwight Lasswell 1936). Based on David Easton`s (1995) Definition of politics , Turton (2002) define hydropolitics as the authoritative allocation of values in society with respect to water. Water policies Environmental policies, has to do with political decisions especially in transboundary watercourses
Envt and.. Some of the major environmental hazards common across the world includes; Land degradation Deforestation Desiccation flooding soil erosion Pollution (water, air, soil,…) Climate change Lose of biodiversity
Envt and… Why states cooperate? Cooperation in transboundary watercourses have a lot of importance Sadoff and Grey (2002) identified four types of cooperation and benefitsA. Increasing benefits To the River- Environmental Benefits to the river- Maintaining the health of the river
Envt and…B. Increasing Benefits From the River- Direct Economic Benefits- Irrigation, Hydroelectric power, fishery, tourism,…C. Reducing Costs Because of the River- move away from conflict to cooperation, from insecurity and instability to stability and peaceful co-existence, avoiding competition and scarcity induced conflicts
Envt and…D. Increasing Benefits Beyond the River- Integration of regional infrastructure, markets and trade, Common Market…. The base for any moves of the riparian states to generate economic as well as political benefits is based on the first benefit maintaining the health of the river.
Geography of the Nile Two Tributaries 1. White Nile-14 % of the total flow –Source from the Equatorial Lakes Region • Less runoff and low sediment-due to the large swamps in South Sudan 2. Blue Nile-86 % of the total flow-source from Ethiopian highlands. Consists of three major sub- basins and their tributaries-Abbay, Tekeze-Atbara and Baro-Akobo-Sobat. • High runoff and sediment • 10 + 1 Riparians-Burundi, D.R.Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan
Environmental Problems/Issues in the (Eastern) Nile Basin The major environmental problem in the Eastern Nile Basin is Water Scarcity which is a result of multiple environmental problems and degradation. Water scarcity is a result of imbalance between demand and supply This could happen when • Demand rises while supply decreases • Supply decreases while there is no a change in demand-due to envtal degradation, water quality deterioration, CC, drought, over consumption • Structural scarcity- Mismanagement of water hinders effective use due to disproportionate, unequal distn and/or access
Ctd… shortage of water-water scarcity is due to different environmental hazards, • Drought • Deforestation-Desertification • Land degradation-Erosion • Lose of biodiversity • water pollution-siltation • Climate change
Problems… ctd.. These environmental problems are a result of rapidly growing population in the riparian states. As a result The demand for land The demand for water, increases which in turn aggravates the destruction of the environment, the ecosystem
Ctd…. Water scarcity in the Eastern Nile Basin is not a result of the environmental hazards as a result of rapid population growth only Politics do play its part Lack of cooperation Conflict between the riparians on the question of the Nile War and instability in the region
Country Priorities and Policies Egypt • Three policy pillars until 2017 A.Optimal utilization of the available water resource B.Water Quality Protection C.International cooperation with other Nile Basin states (ICID 2005). • Egypt`s policy highly focused on Non-water allocation issues such as trade and investment Environmental priority is on water quality-Siltation Availability of water--- the need for more water
Ctry… Egypt Less emphasis to upstream water shed management• Lack of political commitment• Adhered to prior agreements, 1929 and 1959 and prior use, historic or established rights• Emphasis on the availability of water in upstream states-like rain and other river basins• The Fall of Hosni Mubarak in Cairo…. Eclipse…. The Egyptian Public Diplomacy Delegation The Visit of the PM Essam Sharaf• The Future Government in Egypt- New Policy on the Nile?
Country… Sudan • More beneficiary from cooperation-more concerned with Weary of upstream land degradation Flood Water availability-the need for more water Watershed management Siltation Sedimentation-70 – 80 mln USD/yr for cleaning up canals Desiccation
Ctry…Sudan Sudan… • Hydropolitical dilemma (Tesfaye 2001). Nature of the regime North-South Conflict Close to Egypt, religion, ideology, the 1959 agreement, Arabized Sudan, economic, political, the big-brother syndrome Lack of political commitment Adhere to established or historic rights
Ctry…South Sudan South Sudan The formal secession of South Sudan on July 2011 will change the hydropolitics of the Nile One new Nile State The Sudd Swamp and the Jonglei Canal- twin crimes against nature and humanity (Yohannes 2008). Position not clearly stated but can be speculated
Ctry…Ethiopia Ethiopia Solving the Nile issue is beyond environmental issues Major environmental problems include • Deforestation • Land degradation-sever soil erosion • Growing desertification • Climate Change • Food insecurity as a result of environmental hazards •
Soil erosion and deforestation in upstream Ethiopia along the Abbay River
Ctry …. Ethiopia Politically committed to solve the Nile Question Equitable and reasonable utilization- cooperation is the solution-equal footing New Nile Agreement-the CFA is the solution
The Hidase Dam-overall implications•Hydropolitical Implications •Relations between Riparians •Upstream-Downstream Riparians –Balance of Power •New era of cooperation or new era of dead-lock?
Hidase…. Environmental Implications Low Sedimentation in downstream Watershed management in upstream Reforestation in upstream to elongate the life of the Hidase Dam-multiple implications Water regulated downstream Minimizing Siltation
Why Cooperation is a Necessity To challenge the challenges • Environmental challenges needs the cooperation of the riparians from source to mouth to solve the common problems they faced • For regional Stability • Averting environmentally induced conflicts-which could led to war
Why coopn…• Enhancing cooperation and regional integration – beyond the river• To the river, from the river, because of the river, and beyond the river• Establishing a stable and peaceful Nile Basin: a home for citizens of all the Nile Valley.
The Future Government Change in Egypt South Sudan-the New Player in the Game Ethiopia`s proactive moves--- The CFA-Article 6 NBI-ENSAP-ENTRO Projects- Watershed management Flood preparedness External actors and finance Swim together or sink together…