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The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Groundwater Project Holds its Third Steering Committee Meeting

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Groundwater Project Holds its Third Steering Committee Meeting

Thursday 1st of December 2022

The NBI Groundwater Project, which is worth USD$30 million and has a project life cycle of five years (2020-2025) marked an important milestone on 30th November 2022, when it held its third Project Steering Committee Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

With funding from the Global Environmental  Facility (GEF) channeled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this project aims at strengthening current mutual understanding on groundwater flow, recharge mechanisms, policies and management systems as well as community engagement and sustainable development plans for the effective utilization and protection of groundwater from over abstraction, depletion, and pollution.

The Project Steering Committee is responsible for arriving at management decisions through consensus, including recommendations for UNDP/Implementing Partner approval of project plans and revisions as well as addressing any project-level grievances. The Steering Committee is composed of a Project Management Unit at the NBI Secretariat; a task team at two of NBI’s Subsidiary Action Programme Offices (Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme); a national focal point institution in each of the seven participating NBI countries; and local-level government authorities in each participating NBI country.

The Steering Committee Meeting is an important milestone in the project life cycle since it is an opportunity to present the progress achieved in 2022, share the expected deliverables for the 2023 Financial Year, and also discuss challenges, opportunities, and possible solutions in the implementation of the various project components.

The Steering Committee Meeting was preceded by a three-day Action Plans Inception Workshop, which took place from 27th to 29th November, also in Nairobi, Kenya.



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Building on the success of the Regional Nile Basin HydroMet Project: NBI addresses water quality challenges in the Nile Basin

Building on the success of the Regional Nile Basin HydroMet Project: NBI addresses water quality challenges in the Nile Basin

Friday 18th of November 2022

The wellbeing of 272 million Nile Basin citizens relies heavily on the basin’s ecosystems, which provide numerous socio-economic benefits. Fish-based diets, flood control, hydroelectricity, production,  water supply, irrigation agriculture and groundwater replenishment are just a few examples of the fundamental role and services that rivers, wetlands, and lakes – among other water-related ecosystems – provide.

Considering that a large portion of the Basin citizens directly depend on the services from rivers and lakes for their day-to-day subsistence and livelihood, environmental pollution which results in the loss of capacity of these ecosystems, directly threatens millions of livelihoods and inhibits economic growth. Within the Nile Basin, soil erosion, declining fisheries, and the discharge of untreated domestic and industrial effluents are among the common water quality problems.

In recognition of the transboundary nature of these water quality challenges, the Nile Cooperation for Climate Resilience (NCCR) project – implemented by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) – is aimed at supporting riparian countries in addressing water quality challenges through the improvement of national water quality monitoring and information systems using a coordinated approach.

Currently underway in Ethiopia, is an NBI/LVBC-led country needs assessment that builds on the success of the Regional Nile Basin Hydromet Services study, which was conducted in 2015 with support from the German Cooperation (BMZ) through GIZ.

The needs assessment will entail the following:

  • Meeting Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) members and the national water quality task team

  • Conducting site visits to the water quality monitoring stations which are to be equipped with water quality sensors

  • Updating the proposal on water quality, sediment field tool kits, and laboratory equipment that will be supplied

  • Updating the needs of each laboratory that is selected to benefit from basic water quality equipment and laboratory accreditation

Of the 52 water quality monitoring stations that the Regional Nile Basin Hydromet Services study identified in the Basin, 39 of them will be supplied with water quality sensors for daily and sub-daily provision of water quality data. Water management agencies and water quality laboratories in each Member State will be supplied with water quality equipment, sediment, and water quality field kits.

Country needs assessments have been conducted in Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Sudan, and Uganda and will be completed before the end of November for Ethiopia and  Kenya. The NCCR project is a US$30-million, five-year project supported by the World Bank through the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) Trust Fund.



NBI builds regional capacity of groundwater professionals using the Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) software

NBI builds regional capacity of groundwater professionals using the Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) software

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

As part of its commitment to creating awareness and expanding the understanding of groundwater resources, the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) – through the Groundwater Project – is building regional capacity in the detailed investigation, mapping, assessment and modeling of the Nile Basin aquifer systems.

The Groundwater Project is a five-year project (2020-2025) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in the amount of US$ 5.3 million and an additional US$ 27.9 million channeled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), co-financed from countries and partners. The project is being implemented in three selected shared aquifers shared by a total of seven Nile Basin Member States. The selected aquifers are: Kagera aquifer (shared by Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda); Mount Elgon aquifer (shared by Kenya and Uganda); and the Gedaref-Adigrat aquifer (shared by Ethiopia and Sudan).

From November 14-18, 2022 groundwater professionals from the seven project countries have convened in Nairobi to build their capacity on the developed models using a software application called Groundwater Modeling System (GMS).

This training is considered crucial towards not only capacity strengthening but also as far as ownership and sustainability for groundwater resources management and monitoring are concerned.

Benefits from the Groundwater Project include:

  • Improved understanding of the interaction between surface and ground waters including opportunities for artificial recharge when surface water is abundant or to harvest runoff in arid and semi-arid regions

  • Mapping of aquifers and understanding the quality and quantity of water resources available

  • Better defined sub-basin and national climate change scenarios through the knowledge on groundwater

  • Build in resilience strategies to adapt to potential climate change and ensure sustainable use of groundwater use towards effective risk-reduction adaptation measures.

The seven participating countries will also be equipped to achieve and report progress towards water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – specifically SDG 6, SDG 2 and SDG 15 (Access to Water) SDG 2 (Food and Nutrition Security), and SDG 15 (manage forests,).

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Climate Proofing Manuals and Guidance

In this section summplementary materials for the interactive climate proofing manual are being collected. This includes documentation of case study applications with the NELIP,  the climate proofing manual as a document itself, guidances how to use the scenario data base and more.




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