21 March, 2007

The Nile: One Of WWF's Top 10 Rivers at Risk

WWF has just released a report on the World's Top Rivers at Risk, ahead of World Water Day - which is tomorrow (22 March). The report 'lists the top ten rivers that are fast dying as a result of climate change, pollution and dams.'

Five of the ten rivers listed in the report are in Asia: Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Ganges and Indus. Europe's Danube, South Americas' La Plata, Africa's Nile-Lake Victoria and Australia's Murray-Darling also make the list.

Activists in Uganda who are against the Bujagali Power Project could be right! Uganda needs more electricity and building the dam is the easiest way for providing that. But concerns are there: 'dam safety issues; indigenous peoples, cultural and spiritual issues, compensation, resettlement and consultations; and the terrestrial and aquatic fauna.' But, does Uganda have to build the dam on Bujagali? Can't other sites be considered? Sites that would cause least damage and destruction?

It has always been known that the Nile and Lake Victoria are threatened; with the life and habitat all around that depend on these waters. The danger is enormous. Not only to animals, plant and fauna - but to human beings too. From Uganda and Rwanda, through Sudan to Egypt - millions will be affected. Now, the WWF report makes it even more urgent and a priority to protect the Nile and Lake Victoria.

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