The days after tomorrow

On the road to the Namugongo Shrine in Uganda, in a place called Kireka, one cant miss the hundreds of jerry-cans lined up to get water. The beauty of the colour mix is lost on you when you realise that this is the picture of a crisis.

This area has not had piped water in the homes for about two years. People are beginning to give up hope. Two years is a long time.

But that is not a small problem for a small forgotten area in the boondocks. It is a harbinger of bigger problems to come. Tomorrow, next week, next year, we are going to have wars.

The world’s population is growing faster than the water sources are producing water.

We learnt in our SST classes in primary school that the River Nile is the life blood of Egypt. That knowledge seems to have been good only for passing exams. Not for the Egyptians though.

With their technological power and advanced zeal, they are in the position to do with the waters of the Nile whatever they want. Already, they have told the other countries along the basin not to tamper with the water.

Essentially, that means that if you want to build hydro-electric plants and your country lies in this basin, you have to first get permission from down there (Egypt). Chances are that you won’t be getting that permission.

The problem is wider. The Jordan River is gone. It is dead and buried. Israel and the Palestinians have come to some sort of agreement about the sharing of the waters but that is something that’s becoming more and more difficult to handle.

When you move over to Asia, the countries below China in the Mekong Valley are increasingly becoming beholden to their giant neighbour to the north.

The water is becoming more precious. We are sleeping, not finding new ways to manage water and the result is that foreigners in distant offices out there are thinking for us. The world is too preoccupied with oil as the main resource and forgetting about the more important issue of water.

The image from Kevin Costner’s Waterworld comes back fiercely. The movie was made many years ago but it could be prophetic.


About Steven

It wasn't me; arrest the voices. It was the voices in my head. Sike! I am Ugandan first. I care for development in my country. I am a curious observer second and I care to know what you think.
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8 Responses to The days after tomorrow

  1. Cheri says:

    U’re the guys that voted for this establishment!!!!

    So u know wat to do come 2011……Give the owl eyed man a chance!

  2. Cheri says:

    Who shd we blame, the rains came down so hard……they still are. But the water levels never seem to rise…..and the rate of evaporation is nil. given the lack of sunshine these days…

    This AC is draining me. My mind is going.

  3. The 27th Comrade says:

    @Cheri: Hmm … look, even Besigye wouldn’t puke water for the whole world to use. The water problem is not Uganda’s. It’s the world’s. Uganda is just close enough to you.
    And isn’t that what governments are for? Taking praises they don;t deserve, and taking blame they don’t deserve?

    Frig. Drink while you can.

  4. jkb says:

    L.A, I strongly urge u to juice up your template…what do u think?

    You are right, the increasing population & economic growth has increased (drastically) on the demand of the Nile water. However, only one damn country holds the sole right of veto to any dev’t on the Nile, owing to the 1929 treaty btn Egypt, Sudan and Britain…a treaty that excluded other nations that benefit from the Nile.

    I say we southern states come together as a block to discard this outdated treaty…the East African Community is good step forward.

  5. joshi says:

    the areas u mentioned..some are as if in semi desert areas…others are major the greens..ive said it before and im going to say it again..the sahara was at one time the area with the largest number of hippos..and hippos need vast amount of water..

  6. minty says:

    The Nile treaty was due for review late last year, I don’t know whether the meeting took place, but Egypt would do their best to maintain their interests.

    I’m taking my next glass of water very seriously after this.

  7. Lovely Amphibian says:

    @Jane: yeah, i know. This is the problem of experimenting. ima change this template. its not too appealing.

    and yes, water is our “precious”

  8. ish says:

    27th; LOL!! mbu “even Besigye wouldn’t puke water for the whole world to use”!!!

    but seriously, this is very thought provoking…

This is my view. What do you think?

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