Dr. David R. Mutekanga, a Lecturer at African Rural University held a public lecture on Watershed Management using the case of the Nile Basinis. The lecture focussed on a preliminary discussion of the roles and challenges faced in managing watersheds which are the sources of the waters being used in dry lands and deserts downstream using the Nile Basin in Africa as an example. It aimed at raising the role of managing watersheds which play a significant role in cross border dry lands and deserts.
Dr. Mutekanga said that the Nile basin consists of the following countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Of these Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan are mainly covered by dry land and desert land. They depend mainly on the River Nile for water source. However, the Nile comes from Lake Victoria and this lake gets its waters mainly (70%) from the watersheds of Rwanda.
He expounded on the topic Using one of the watersheds in Rwanda as an example.He analysed the roles of watersheds as an important source of water for Lake Victoria and River Nile and in turn the dry lands and deserts in Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan. He continued to say that effective management of these watersheds which are currently over 20 which belong to the 5 sub-basins in Rwanda is very significant in ensuring water availability in Lake Victoria hence the deserts and dry lands north of Lake Victoria.
The also highlited on some of the emerging challenges which include the fact that this issue is taken lightly and its significance relatively down played. There is need at global level to identify these cross border critical watersheds whose role in deserts and dry lands is very significant. The difficulties in doing this are relatively well known but this is exactly why there is need to identify these watersheds and a global initiative taken to manage them very well.
In conclusion, Dr. Mutekanga said that there is need to document effectively these critical watersheds and show their importance in dry lands and deserts.
The public lecture attracted community members from Kibaale District, Students and staff of African Rural University, staff of URDT among others.