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Can East African countries reclaim Lake Victoria?

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by n00b, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. n00b

    n00b JF-Expert Member

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    Kuna mdau mmoja alianzisha hii topic ila sijajua ni nani (nahisi tu ni Ab-Titchaz), naiweka kama ilivyo:

    In situations like this, the EAC would have been of great importance, but the division amongst us and the disunity portrayed in the community, we will always get stuck with treaties signed by our colonizers. As the adage goes, 'unity is strength', our unity as a community would have contributed a lot in overturning this old, outdated, racist treaty, we need each other, not only for this issue, but for many problems that are raising within and outside our borders.

    As sad as it is, East Africans will never benefit fully from its only large fresh water lakeAs millions of Kenyans face starvation, and as environmental activists blame bad environmental policies, climate change and deforestation for the current drought and famine facing the country, one important factor has been conveniently overlooked: the role that Britain and Egypt have played in denying countries of the Eastern Africa region the use of their own water resources. The Nile Water Agreement of 1929, which Britain signed on behalf of its East African colonies, forbids (yes, forbids) countries surrounding Africa’s largest freshwater water body – Lake Victoria – from having full use of its waters. The treaty, which has been criticised as a colonial relic, grants Egypt the lion’s share of River Nile’s waters.

    The agreement also gives Egypt the right to inspect the entire length of the Nile, including Lake Victoria, to ensure that water is not diverted to countries in the region, which are monitored to ensure that the water is not used for irrigation. The bizarre agreement has resulted in a situation where Egypt has the right to use 48 billion cubic metres of water per year, compared with Sudan, which was only allocated 4 billion cubic metres.

    A second agreement in 1959 increased Egypt’s share to 55.5 billion cubic metres and Sudan’s to 18.5 billion cubic metres. What’s worse, Ethiopia, whose highlands are the source of up to 80 per cent of the Nile’s waters, and which suffers from perennial drought and famine year after year, had virtually no right to use any of the Nile’s waters.

    The 4,000-mile Nile has fascinated colonialists since the days of David Livingstone. Explorers undertook expensive expeditions in search of its source, an undertaking that led to the eventual colonisation of East Africa by Britain. The 1929 treaty was drawn up at a time when it seemed like the sun would never set on the British Empire (and it seems the sun still hasn’t set on a lake that was named after an English queen. Why was the name never changed after the East Africans achieved independence?).

    Egypt was a strategic ally of the British Empire because of its proximity to the Suez Canal, which provided a naval short-cut to Britain’s most prized possession, India. According to a 2004 article published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the international community and donors are reluctant to question the validity of the treaty for fear of upsetting Egypt, a key ally of the United States.

    THIS MEANS THAT THE ESTIMATED 160 million people in some in this region can only dream of using River Nile to irrigate their crops. Ironically, these are the same people who are being asked both by their governments and by donors to wean themselves from rain-fed agriculture.

    Tanzania has consistently questioned the validity of the treaty considering that it was drawn when all the countries impacted, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were colonies of Western powers. Egypt has already stated that it will declare war on any country that threatens the 1929 and 1959 treaties, though Tanzania has defied the treaty in recent years.

    It is all very well blaming bad policies and poor environmental management for our woes, but East African nations need to address the issue of whether a treaty drawn by a colonial power can still be valid today.

    A similar treaty was drawn up in 1904, when the Maasai “willingly” ceded their territory in central Rift Valley to white settlers. The validity of that treaty was questioned by various Maasai activists, including the late Elijah Marima ole Sempeta, a century later in 2004, when the treaty was supposed to have expired. His efforts were rebuked by none other than Kenyan Cabinet ministers who claimed that the treaty was not just valid but had to be respected for 999 years.

    Is it fair for a country that is thousands of miles downstream to control the lives of millions of people upstream? How long before people of the East Africa region continue depending on rain to feed themselves? What kind of hypocrisy allows rich nations to bequeath special status to Egypt at the expense of countries whose people face starvation because they have no right to use their own water?

    Colonialism did terrible things to the people of East Africa, but the Nile treaty is perhaps one of those things whose effects will be felt for generations to come – unless the countries of the region force Egypt and the international community to renegotiate its contents so that the waters of the Nile are equitably shared by all countries that are its origins and in which it passes through.


    http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion...h/-/index.html
     
  2. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Huyo mdau ni smatta na wala si AB, mbona umei edit lakini?
     
  3. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    #3
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    We were doing maintainance issues and some stuff was lost while we
    were at it. We request your patience and understanding.One.
     
  4. P

    PauliMasao JF-Expert Member

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    Every time I come across such an article, I get sick.
    Any Agreement must serve the interests of all parties and the Agreement between Egypt and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan of 1929 was negotiated without our (East Africa) being represented and should therefore be reviewed. Imagine the treaty did not even allocate to Ethiopia any rights to use the Nile waters although more than 85 percent of the total Nile volume comes from its highlands! The British were mere baby sitters and had no rights to negotiate or sell our East African natural resource to any country. As for the Egyptians, it is only sensible that they sit down with the other stake holders to negotiate the outdated issue afresh.
     
  5. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    They wont and cant agree, they are ready to go to war (or so they say) to protect that treaty. No EA country can go toe to toe with this Arabs alone, our only solace is our bargaining power as a community, but with the rhetoric and vitriol being spewed every time a person with pro community sentiments speaks, this will only be a dream.

    We are so weak on our own, economic wise, militarily, and so forth, we cant be competitive in the world if we keep thinking within our borders and households, we will always be bullied by larger economies. It hurts me when people bluntly refuse the EAC without weighing the pros and cons or doing proper research. When will we move outside our border cocoons and think as East africans intead of seeing each other as Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Rwandans e.t.c, and use our strength as individuals and communities to achieve our dreams.
     
  6. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    #6
    Oct 14, 2009
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    Somebody needs to tell these Egyptians that we 'didn't' sign the
    treaty. It was between them and the British and that is a long time
    ago.

    If it was within my power tungeendelea kutumia tu haya maji kisha
    tuone hio they can start and carry out a war with EA. If anything
    they will go complain to the UN or something like that.
     
  7. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

    #7
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    This treaty doesnt make sense at all, it is an outdated piece of paper signed by people who didn't care about East Africa, our governments should ignore that sh.it of paper (see what I did there), because they didnt play any role in signing such treaties, and start using the waters for our benefit as East Africans.

    Our bargaining power as individual countries will be watered down by Egypt's economic power and the role they play in the mideast, I guess on this issue the EAC would have proven its role to its detractors.
     
  8. P

    PauliMasao JF-Expert Member

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  9. P

    PauliMasao JF-Expert Member

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    Waziri Mkuu mstaafu Edward Lowasa alishaanza!
     
  10. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Thats the way to go, ignore that piece of crap. Hope Ngilu (our minister for water and irrigation) follows Lowasa, and we see how they will react, we cant be dying of hunger and we have large water bodies which would have been used for irrigation.
     
  11. K

    Kekuye Senior Member

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    Heshima kwako Smatta kwa mada hii. Kuna swala ninashindwa kuelewa labda wajuzi wa 'the law of succession' katika sheria za kimataifa watujuze. Ninavyofahamu baada ya kupata uhuru Tanganyika (Tanzania) ilifuata 'the Nyerere Doctrine' yaani iliamua kuipitia mikataba iliyoingiwa na wakoloni na kuangalia ile ambayo ilikuwa na manufaa kwa taifa tulibaki nayo na ile ambayo haikuwa na manufaa tuliikataa. Sasa sijui huu wa Waingereza na Mfalme wa Misri uliingia katika kundi gani.
     
  12. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Hii ni ya kulazimishana tu, sisi Wana Ea hatukuwa considered in any decisions they made, and we are still being ignored simply because we are voiceless as individuals.

    Even though am not conversant with international law, am sure this treaty can be overturned if we have people who are willing to battle it out in the international court, because when this piece of paper was being signed some countries were not put into consideration.
     
  13. Kimey

    Kimey JF-Expert Member

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    I can agree with other contributors on the equitable share of Nile water. We all have right to use Nile water for economic development however on other side if all countries could use efficiently water resources they have in their countries, or prove to Egypt how efficient we are in term of water resources Egypt could have no way to negotiate. Let's take an example of Tanzania, we do have many river flows, but could any one tell me how efficient we have used our rivers? Egypt has decided to burn rice cultivation to minimize the use of water, they are doing virtual trade. On my opinion while we are still negotiate with Egypt let's take more serious in water resource management. sometimes I believe in this statement "Kwenye miti mingi hakuna wajenzi"
     
  14. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

    #14
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    ..siyo lazima tuwe kwenye EAC kuweza kufuatilia mkataba huu with one voice.

    ..Kenya wana eneo dogo la ziwa Victoria kuliko Uganda na Tanzania, and they have always pushed for a free access to the lake and its resources to all East African countries.

    ..naomba kuuliza: huu mkataba wa matumizi ya maji ya ziwa Vitoria una tofauti gani na mkataba wa EAC[abolishment of national identification, free access to land and its resources,...] linapokuja suala la welfare ya Watanzania, pamoja na survival and growth Tanzanias industrial base?

    ..MKATABA WA EAC NI MBAYA KWA WATANZANIA KAMA ULIVYO MKATABA WA NILE.

    NB:

    ..Kenya na Uganda wameshindwa kuelewana kuhusu suala dogo la kisiwa cha migingo.

    ..nina mashaka kwamba EAC ni mkusanyiko wa nchi zinazotaka kuinyonya tu Tanzania.
     
  15. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Ndio hawa washa fika, and the hate parade begins.

    Are you trying to compare the EAC with a treaty signed by the colonisers? Thats an oxymoron, you cant use them in the same sentence, i swear you cant be serious, this two things are incomparable.

    I understand you wishing the best for your country, but if you stay being paranoid on what your neighbors are planning about you, then you wont move forward.

    The EAC is for our benefit as East Africans, that's why I usually say to hell with the land clause, we can get rid of that if it is the only thing holding us back. We need each other, I don't know which part of that sentence is difficult to understand. MAYN
     
  16. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    Hivi huyu Lowasa ni Mstaafu au alifukuzwa kazi. Nafikiri Lowasa ni yule aliyewahi kuwa Waziri Mkuu, na sio waziri mkuu mstaafu.
     
  17. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

    #17
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    Smatta,

    ..Tanzania doesnt need Kenya to develop.

    ..we have a largest landmass and abundant resources.

    ..we also have the largest population[market and labor force] in the East Africa.

    ..NO, we dont need Kenyans to develop.

    ..what we need in Tanzania is a competent leadership.

    NB:

    ..labda mtuletee Raisi na wabunge maana hawa tulionao wapowapo tu.
     
  18. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

    #18
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    Smatta,

    ..hapo juu are you own words.

    ..unasema kabisa kwamba EAC is not for the good of the common man.

    ..pia hii treaty tukiacha bidhaa za Kenya kuingia Tanzania without any kind of control viwanda vya Tanzania vitakufa.

    ..now, kumbe EAC might not even be good to our industries and business community.

    ..East African Community siyo nzuri kwa Watanzania period.

    ..viongozi wa Tanzania wanapenda kuonekana progressive/pan-africanists huko nje hata kama it is to the detriment of the majority of Tanzanians.

    ..Prof.Samwel Mwita Wangwe alizunguka nchi nzima kutafuta maoni ya Watanzania. It was clear frm those meetings that Watanzania hawaitaki EAC. sasa leo nashangaa Waziri Kamala amesaini mambo yaleyale ambayo Watanzania walikataa.

    NB:

    ..ninachoshangaa pia ni kwanini nchi nyingine zinasaini hii mikataba na viongozi wa Tanzania while it is understood that wananchi wa Tanzania wamekataa EAC?
     
  19. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    JokaKuu na Smatta...kazi kweli kweli!!!
     
  20. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    I didnt say that you NEED Kenya, NO not at all, what am saying is that we need each other as East Africans, a form of symbiotic relationship, we help each other grow. And mac you the EAC is not a TZ issue alone, we have other small countries whose industries will probably die when a full fledged EAC launches fully.

    What am trying to say is that we will face problems in some areas but there are a thousand more benefit which will automatically cancell out the problems. I remember when some people were saying that COMESA will kill our industries, but I know when they look at the benefits of COMESA, they bend their heads in shame. Dont always rain on the parade immediately you hear about EAC, just google a bit about the EAC, am sure you will change your mind.
     
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