Basin Focal Project Nile Basin

Published on 5 August 2010

Research Areas

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Start Date: 1 January 2008 | End Date: 30 April 2010


The Nile basin experiences wide spread poverty, lack of food and land and water degradation. Because poverty is linked to access to water for crop, fish and livestock based livelihoods, improving access to water and increasing agricultural water productivity can potentially contribute substantially to poverty reduction.

The main objective of the Nile Basin Focal Project was to identify high potential water management interventions for increasing water productivity and poverty alleviation in different parts of the basin, to inform development activities and further research. A major premise of the project is that there are opportunities to manage water and use it better for agriculture to improve productivity, food security, and livelihoods. While there is much focus by governments on the scarce river water resource, other opportunities can be found when rainfall is considered as the main water resource in the Nile. Livestock, fisheries and aquaculture have long been important to people along the Nile but do not feature in the water discourse. Livestock are essential for both cultural and dietary use across the entire Nile, and livestock management practices have important implications for water resources management. The potential to develop fisheries along the Nile River is very promising, especially in under developed areas such as Southern Sudan. The

Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF) initiated Basin Focal Projects to provide strategic research that identifies the links between water, food and poverty in river basins. The CPWF carries out research across nine basins both to understand how agricultural water management in specific areas supports livelihoods, and in particular livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable. Thus the work of the Nile BFP targets issues relevant to the countries and peoples of the Nile river basin, but contributes to a better understanding of how people develop and manage water for food.

Because of the basin size, complexity and inconsistent data availability, the key is to find a balance between the level of detail and analysis required and the need to gain an overall picture of water, productivity, livelihoods, and poverty within the basin. To do so, we followed the structure of analysis of all the basin focal projects, dividing the work into six work packages:

– Water Poverty Analysis    – Analysis of Water Availability and Access   – Analysis of Agricultural Water Productivity       – Institutional Analysis      – Intervention Analysis   – Development and Application of the Knowledge Base

As the situations across the basin are highly variable, we used six special study sites to gain more insights about water use within the basin.   •Egypt, Nile Delta – Aquaculture production systems    •Ethiopia, Blue Nile – Farming Systems, productivity, impact    •Sudan, Sudd – Biodiversity, Fisheries, Livestock    •Uganda, Cattle Corridor – Poverty and water access    •Sudan, Central Belt – Livestock productivity    •Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania – Lake Victoria productivity

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