Water Links Us

By John Thorson

THE WHITE NILE RIVER BASIN: One third of Africa’s populations reside in and depend on the natural resources of the Nile River Basin. The White Nile (2300 miles, 3700 km.) is punctuated by Lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and Kyoga. Climate change, population growth, pollution and infrastructure are currently threatening the natural resources and balance of this watershed.

INDIVIDUAL and cooperative fishing, and water acquired via buckets and pumps, are the two traditional major uses of the Ugandan branches, tributaries and lakes in its White Nile River Basin. Today this watershed’s dramatic waterfalls challenge the adventurous rafters but are one by one being taken over to power hydro-electric dams. The No Water No Life March–April 2010 expedition to this region focused on the impacts of infrastructure projects such as these dams, limestone and oil mining, highway bridges, and Kampala hotels’ new golf courses.

NWNL documented issues including:

Forest and wetlands: The headwaters face deforestation, dam proposals and increasing settlement.

Lake Victoria: Pollution and invasive species threaten the livelihoods of 30 million lakeshore inhabitants.

Climate change: Increases in floods and droughts are greatly impacting this watershed.

View more photos from the expedition: http://nowater-nolife.org/expeditions/whitenile10/peopleUsing/index.html


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