A Nílus vízhozamának megosztása – regionális együttműködés vagy konfliktus?

Neszmélyi, György Iván (2014) A Nílus vízhozamának megosztása – regionális együttműködés vagy konfliktus? Tér és Társadalom, 28 (1). pp. 99-112. ISSN 2062-9923


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The River Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world, and has a decisive role in feeding and supplying 11 countries and their 300 million inhabitants with water. This paper gives an insight to the increasing conflict and disputes on the issue arising from the problem: how to share and utilize the water runoff of the Nile river. The concerned African countries are as follows: Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan – the latter has been very recently split into two independent countries. Although Eritrea is not riparian, the catchment area of the Nile extends to her territory as well. These countries are all affected from this issue, although each of them to a different extent and in different ways, but striving to assert their own economic and security interests – in most cases – against each other. The impacts of this issue extend far beyond the direct geographical region itself, and of course it has a predominant influence on the water and food supply of around 300 million people who live in these countries. The sharpest disaccord can be seen between the group of Sub-Saharan riparian countries in the upstream part of the Nile, and the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan). The rapidly growing population and its almost exclusive dependence on Nile-water makes the Egyptian government insist strongly on its quota, which was set in international agreements long ago. The Sub-Saharan countries would consider it to be rightful to change the prevailing sharing system to such a new solution which would serve their interests as well. The shortage of water becomes more and more the gravest risk factor from the point of view of the food security of the world. Egypt would require even more water in the future with regard to its rapidly growing population, developing economy and agricultural projects. However, the Sub-Saharan (upstream) riparian countries would also need water to a growing extent. Besides agriculture and drinking water supply the Nile has a huge hydraulic energy potential as well. Aswan in Egypt may be well known for its famous dam which created Lake Nasser, too. But in the recent decades Ethiopia and other riparian countries have also started projects to construct dams and power stations for electric power generation. The sharply contradictional interests and distrust almost led to armed conflicts, especially between Egypt and Ethiopia during the 1980s. The international community has been trying to make efforts to settle this issue, and to find a comprehensive and long-lasting solutions for the disputes. The best known of them is the Nile Basin Initiative (1999) which is supported by several international organizations such as the World Bank, UNDP, etc. In spite of the international efforts, it looks still too far to achieve an acceptable solution for all parties. A very important result which is getting to be recognized by the riparian countries is that the utilization of the Nile river is not a so called zero sum game. There are and will be still enough reserves to be exploited and utilized jointly. Therefore, instead of a win-lose situation it can be converted to a win-win model. Relying on this point of view, further programs have been launched already. These might be advantageous for the riparian states in the fields of water quality improvement, growing plant cultures of lesser water demand, wastewater utilization and the improvement of environmental conditions of the catchment area. As a conclusion of his paper, the author refers to the question whether there is – for Hungarians and European people – any lesson to be drawn from the case and the complex problem of the Nile river riparian countries. The Danube – one of the longest rivers in Europe – connects directly nine European states, but its catchment area is shared by fourteen countries. Hungary – due to her situation – can be considered as a typical downstream country as 95% of the water outflows are arriving from other countries. The co-operation of the Danube riparian countries are bound with stricter and more stable international agreements than those along the Nile. In spite of the fact that at the moment Hungary and the Danube riparian countries do not need to face such grave difficulties like those of the Nile riparians, they have to be fully aware that water resources are limited. In all probability the impacts of climatic changes will be more severe. As a result considerable competition for water may emerge in the future in Europe as well. Therefore thorough attention should be paid to the Nile riparians, since their example can serve as a lesson for Europeans.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Afrika, konfliktusmegelőzés, Nílus, regionális együttműködés, vízhasznosítás
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > HD Industries. Land use. Labor / ipar, földhasználat, munkaügy > HD2 Land use / földhasználat
J Political Science / politológia > JZ International relations / nemzetközi kapcsolatok, világpolitika
S Agriculture / mezőgazdaság > S1 Agriculture (General) / mezőgazdaság általában
Depositing User: György Váradi
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 17:29
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 15:53

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