A delegation from IUCN Asia, comprised of government officials, media professionals, water management practitioners and researchers from Bangladesh and India, visited the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat on 12 October 2011, as a part of a regional initiative of IUCN Asia , “ Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative.”
The exposure visit organized by this initiative was for insight and exchange of experiences and lessons on trans-boundary basin water management as well as to observe and learn from the NBI good practices so that similar practices can be introduced in South Asia.
NBI is a partnership initiated and led by the riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states. On behalf of NBI, Dr. Wael Khairy, Executive Director of NBI, received the delegation and NBI team gave a comprehensive overview of NBI.
The delegation informed the NBI team that, IUCN initiated Dialogues for Sustainable Management of trans-boundary water regimes in South Asia as one of its flagship projects in Asia.
The team visited the offices of the Nile Basin Discourse which is situated in Entebbe, Uganda on the same day. Initiated by IUCN the Nile Basin Discourse is a civil society network that was established through a consultative process that started in 2000 and was officially launched in December 2003.
As a part of this exposure visit delegates were also taken to the source of the Nile at Ginja in Lake Victoria and Bujagali waterfalls in Kampala and to the Masai Mara river basin, Kenya.
The team travelled to Kenya and visited onsite offices of WWF at Narok, Kenya, Mara River Water Users Association and Olonana Resort. Mr Francis M. Nkakko, Member of Interim coordinating Secretariat for Mau Forest Complex, accompanied the delegation to Masai Mara Water Users Association.
The parties expressed high appreciation for organizing this exposure visit and participants felt that the interaction and knowledge sharing with the different initiatives and organizations in trans-boundary basin water management should also be reflected in South Asia.