TZ assent conventions on transboundary watercourses

TANZANIA has envisioned finalising the process of assenting to the conventions on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes by September next year.

Tanzania is riparian to 14 transboundary water bodies with neighbouring countries, including six lakes such as Lake Victoria, Nyasa, Tanganyika, Natron, Chala and Jipe together with eight rivers, including Kagera, Mara, Ruvuma, Malagarasi, Momba, Mwiruzi, Umba and Songwe.

The statement was made by Zanzibar’s Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals, Mr Shaib H Kaduara on Friday when gracing the national workshop on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes held in Dar es Salaam.

The workshop was meant to provide education and a common understanding to the ministry of water and other stakeholders about the responsibilities and benefits that will facilitate the country’s accession process in the 1992 United Nations Convention on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes and the 1997 United Nations Convention on the law of the Non-Navigational Uses of international water sources.

“The desire of Tanzania to accede to United Nations Watercourse Conventions is to reaffirm our international commitment and to strengthen our regional cooperation on water…You may note that despite Tanzania not being a party to the Water Conventions, it has been actively involved in activities under the Conventions,” he said.

Mr Kaduara also said “as part of users of transboundary watercourses and international lakes, it is important to join the conventions formally to continue cooperating in protecting water together with our neighbours and use it equally.”

In a related development, the Minister encouraged the transboundary watercourses and international lakes stakeholders to continue protecting water and use it properly as a catalyst to bring development as well as a unifying factor among nations and key for international cooperation.

The minister further highlighted some activities performed by the country under those conventions, including implementing Sustainable Development Goals number 6 (SDGs) (on water and sanitation) specifically dealing with transboundary water cooperation.

Tanzania is also anticipating implementing the Water Convention Programme of Work for the 2022-2024 period.

On behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, a Representative of UNICEF in Tanzania, Ms Shalini Bahuguna unveiled that the work of the UN agencies in Tanzania directly supports the objective of the water convention whose aim is to strengthen cooperation in the field of transboundary waters and to promote the protection and sustainable use of transboundary surface and underground waters.

“On behalf of the UN family in Tanzania, I would like to applaud Tanzania’s interest to accede to, and implement, the Water Convention and I hereby reaffirm the UN Resident Coordinator’s commitment to supporting Tanzania on this journey,” she added.

On his side, the delegation of the European Union (EU) to Tanzania, Mr Jocelin Cornet, underlined that the workshop marked an important milestone in starting the formal accession process while adding that the move would send a signal to the 3 international actors that Tanzania is keen on cooperation, thus ultimately helping unlock and share many benefits accruing from water.

 

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