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Kagera River Basin Management Project



Kagera River Basin Management Project

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Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program - Nile Basin Initiative NELSAP - NBI

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Factsheet NBI-NELSAP Kagera River Basin Management Project
The Kagera basin which lies within the four countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, is characterized by low productive peasant agriculture and endemic poverty, severe land degradation linked to loss of soil fertility caused by population pressure and primitive farming methods. The riparian countries rank among the world’s poorest countries. Land cover depletion including deforestation is wide- spread with almost total absence of reforestation activities. Soil erosion culminates in increased nutrient load in the river as well as into Lake Victoria, leading to severe problems of water hyacinth and eutrophication. The basin area has insufficient water for household use and for grazing despite the abundant water sources found in the area. Wetlands have been exploited and degraded, and there are cross border migrations of pastoralists which cause conflicts. Despite the challenges, Kagera basin holds significant opportunities for win-win development that could enhance food production, energy availability, transportation, industrial development, environmental conservation and other related sustainable development activities. Cooperative water resources management offers unique opportunities as catalysts for greater regional integration both social-economic and political with potential benefits exceeding those derived from the river itself. This requires a basin-wide approach to management through a framework for sustainable transboundary development and management of the water resources.