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Water As A Looming Source Of Conflict In The Horn And Great Lake Regions. Jennifer Shamalla Pan Africa Strategic Policy Research Group Kenya (PANAFSRAG)

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Presentation on theme: "Water As A Looming Source Of Conflict In The Horn And Great Lake Regions. Jennifer Shamalla Pan Africa Strategic Policy Research Group Kenya (PANAFSRAG)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Water As A Looming Source Of Conflict In The Horn And Great Lake Regions. Jennifer Shamalla Pan Africa Strategic Policy Research Group Kenya (PANAFSRAG)

2 In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of executioners. Albert Camus Conflicts in Africa: Pre Independence conflicts The Algerian War of Independence (1954 to 1962) Kenya( Mau Mau) Namibian War of Independence (1966 to 1988) Second Chimurenga The Zimbabwean War of Independence ( 1964-1979) Angolan War of Independence

3 Colonials Legacies and Cold War Eritrean war of independence Ogaden war: Ethiopia and Somalia: 1977-1988 Eritrea -Ethiopian war- 1988- 200(annexation of Eritrea after the Italians had left) First and second Sudan civil war.

4 The end of the Cold War, Africa has experienced more armed conflicts and endured more direct and indirect casualties of war than any other continent. The violence has been both pervasive and brutal. During the last decade of the twentieth century, endemic violence has played a key role in inhibiting social and political progress and preventing Africans from experiencing the unprecedented economic growth that so many other peoples enjoyed. Allowing these problems to fester can only lead to further problems in the new millennium. Armed Conflict in Africa Edited by Carolyn Pumphrey and Rye Schwartz-Barcott

5 Reasons Problem of identity, class,race Rejection of monarchies vs modern state: Conflict generating refugees and refugees generating conflict as a cycle The most volatile has to do with economic imbalances. Relative scarcity of resources) Absolute scarcity

6 Water Scarcity in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa Increasing Population Human Settlements Environmental Degradation Demand For Land Leading To Encroachment of Water Catchments and Protected Areas

7 Vital water towers that are the lifeline for a complex ecological system. marshlands, savannah ( large amounts of wildlife) pressure as pastoralist, agriculturalists and wildlife struggle in a continuous cycle for survival. Water Catchment Areas

8 Pastoralist Communities Eastern Africa pastoral groups stretch from the Kenya-Somalia border northwards into Ethiopia; Northwest encompass regions of Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR). These regions have suffered large-scale intra-state wars that have supplied pastoral groups with modern weaponry, resulting in protracted conflicts with numerous neighbors.

9 Conflict Among Pastoralists: Raiding (Cattle rustling). Transhumance: The regular movement of herds among fixed points in order to exploit the seasonal availability of pastures. Encroachment of land in search for pastures. The states suffer from periodic droughts and the catchments areas are coming under the increasing threat of environmental degradation due to uprooting of trees, erosion and human settlements such as those in the Mau Complex. Conflicts over scarcity of resources.


11 Natural resources. Major civilizations flourished around river systems. Food security was guaranteed. Water- agriculture, sanitation. It is a social good and economic good (irrigation of flowers, bottled water sales etc). Elements of National Power:

12 Water Scarcity A country is determined to be water scarce when its annual supply of internal renewable water falls below 1,000 cubic waters per person (2,740 litres per day). In socio-economic terms, scarcity occurs when the lack of water endangers food production, constrains economic development and jeopardizes a countrys natural systems (Gleick, 1993).


14 The Nile River Fact: 6,700 kilometers Ten Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda; The Niles two major contributories are The White Nile East Africa ( Source Lake Victoria) The Blue Nile Ethiopia ( Source Lake Tana)

15 Lake Victoria 68,800 square kilometers 2 nd largest Tributaries Gucha River: Source ;Nyamira Kenya Kagera River: Source; Burundi Mara River: Source: Kenyan highlands, Nzioa River: Source: Mount Elgon Kenya Ruvyironza River: Source; Burundi

16 Lake Tana: Surface area of 2156 Square Kilometers Sources all in Ethiopia:- Reb River Magech River Gumare River

17 WATER TOWERS IN KENYA WWF-EARPO/Sam Kanyamibwa Mt. Kenya The Aberdare Range The Mau Complex: Mara River, Gucha River Mt. Elgon: Nzoia Fiver The Cherangani Hills

18 DESTRUCTION WWF-EARPO/Sam Kanyamibwa In terms of acreage, destruction of indigenous forest increased from 6,032 hectares during the 2000-2003 period to 9,334 hectares in the 2003- 2005 monitoring period. All detected destruction of indigenous forests between 2003 and 2005 took place in the Mau Complex. UNEP

19 NILE WATERS The largest consumer of the Nile waters is Egypt. Egypt is a beneficiary of the Nile Treaty. Allows Egypt 55.5 billion cubic meters of water each year 87% of the Nile's flow. Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters

20 Background Nile Waters Agreement of 1929: It states amongst other things that Egypt has a natural and historic rights in the waters of the Nile


22 Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity. Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General.

23 What is a Human right? Human rights are protected by internationally guaranteed standards that ensure the fundamental freedoms and dignity of individuals and communities. They include civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Human rights principally concern the relationship between the individual and the State. Governmental obligations with regard to human rights can broadly be categorized in obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill (WHO, 2002).

24 TREATIES International Law :Perusal treaties deal with administration, trade, politics and impersonal such as dispositive or localized treaties: They establish special territorial regimes (Boleslaw Adam Boczek). Create rights and obligations in territories. Sudan on attaining independence refused to acknowledge the validity of the Nile water treaty and negotiated a new treaty with Egypt in 1959. Kenya Tanzania, Uganda also refused to be bound by the treaty on attaining independence. However to date no treaties have been negotiated.

25 The Harmon Doctrine: The theory of absolute territorial sovereignty. A state can do what ever it wants with waters flowing through its territory.

26 Egypt has veto powers over upstream projects: The Nile Waters Agreement of 1929 states that no country in the Nile Basin should undertake any works on the Nile, or tributaries that feed it without Egypt's express permission.

27 Facts Egypt is one of the earliest and oldest civilizations. Egypts and Africas history cannot be detached from the Nile River. The very existence of Egypt and Sudan relies on the Nile, and any threat to the Nile is of vital interest to them. The 1929 agreement was concluded between Britain (on behalf of Sudan) and Egypt. Britain pledged on behalf of its colonies then not to undertake works that would reduce the volume of Nile waters reaching Egypt.

28 THE NILE BASIN INITIATIVE Partnership initiated and led by riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin. Launched Feb 1999 It seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, Share substantial socioeconomic benefits, Promote regional peace and security. Nile Basin water resources. (

29 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Cairo is one of the most densely populated cities on earth Egypts population is expected to double by 2050. Approx $70-billion plan to reclaim 1.2-million hectares of desert over the next 10 years. Egypt's project to reclaim deserts in the south, called "Toshka", would expand Egypt's farmland by about 40% by 2017, using about five billion cubic meters of water a year. It is a national security matter and Egypt has stated that any attempts to divert the Nile would be met by force.

30 President Anwar Sadat (1978) We depend upon the Nile100 per cent in our life, so if anyone, at any moment, thinks of depriving us of our life we shall never hesitate to go to war ((Kukk and Deese, 1996:46).

31 May 2010. Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. signed a treaty known as the Nile Basin Initiative. Congo and Burundi to sign within a year. Objective: Determines how to equitably use the Nile waters.

32 It has been observed that future international conflicts will be linked to deteriorating environmental conditions and resources. The Nile River Treaty makes certain that riparian states cannot have access to water yet they continue to be ravaged with drought. Conclusion

33 Thank You Questions?

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