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Great Lakes
Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Kenya wants Nile water
Nile basin
Kenya wants to benefit more from Nile waters
The Nile Basin Treaty, which bars East African countries from exploiting the waters of Lake Victoria for economic gain, should be reviewed, according to a senior Kenyan cabinet minister.

Mr Raila Odinga told the Kenyan parliament that this aspect of the treaty was particularly regrettable because Kenya was short of water - whereas Egypt, which he said was favoured by the Nile Treaty - was able to export water.

Mr Odinga said the treaty had been signed in 1939 when Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, the three countries which border Lake Victoria, were still under colonial rule.

Lake Victoria is the main source of River Nile.

Ministers of the ten Nile River Basin states - Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda - in May agreed to increase regional co-operation, including on a regional electricity project.

The East African countries have in the past said that unless the waters of the Nile were shared in a fair way mistrust would continue among the countries that shared its waters.

The River Nile is the longest river in the world - it is almost 7,000 thousand kilometres long.


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