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Nile River Basin Women Leaders Demand Inclusive Decision Making

NAIVASHA, Kenya

Women water leaders from Nile Basin countries have called for “more inclusive decision making” in order to mitigate and manage water-related challenges in the region and have called for an enhanced role in decision making, saying that "Evidence from water cooperation and peacebuilding efforts throughout the world has demonstrated that women play an essential role in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water as well as ensuring a more durable peace".

A 23 January statement of the Third Annual Women in Water Diplomacy workshop, convened by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in Naivasha, Kenya, cites that women play an essential role in “the provision, management, and safeguarding of water as well as ensuring a more durable peace”. The group identified that cooperation over the shared water resources in the Nile River Basin is essential to achieving sustainable water management and realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With strong and very knowledgeable women water leaders in the region, the group called upon “fellow decision makers to leverage all available skills, experience, and leadership to improve cooperation across the Basin.”

The full statement from the workshop recognises the unique and intrinsic social, cultural, ecological, and economic value of the Nile Basin. Acknoledging the many and diverse challenges that the region faces, the group describes a cooperative vision for Nile Basin: “Despite the challenges, we are bound together and thus recognize the significant benefits to regional development and economic integration that can result from improved transboundary cooperation.” Opportunities include increasing resilience to climate change impacts through improved watershed management and water use efficiency, as well as efforts to reduce pollution of shared water resources".

The statement concluded with a call to address shared water and climate changes urgently and a call for sustained support and continued partnerships at community, national and international levels.

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