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Study Sites

Eastern Nile Basin

Project: CLICO
Country: Ethiopia
Size: ca. 358 000 km²


The Nile basin is shared by some of Africa's poorest and least developed countries, with a high dependence on agriculture and other natural resource based livelihoods, unequal use of fluctuating water resources, political tensions between basin countries over water sharing issues and a high vulnerability to both climatic and non-climatic stresses. Over the 21st Century the basin faces possible changes in water supply due to climate change, increased risk of extreme climate events such as floods and droughts and rapidly increasing demand for water resources as the populations of the countries in the basin continue to rapidly grow and urbanise. These stresses are likely to create negative impacts for the human security and well-being of the people in the basin and present serious challenges for institutions in the basin to respond cooperatively rather than in ways which heighten tensions between basin nations.

A case study of the Eastern Nile basin, shared by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, will be used to examine the potential hazards associated with climate change in the context of other stresses and the differing vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities of each of these countries, their institutions and societal groups within these countries. This will be used to explore the human security implications of climate change impacts on water in the basin. We will explore whether the potential implications of climate change amongst other stressors are likely to exacerbate existing tensions in the basin and precipitate or contribute to conflict at local to regional scales, or whether recent initiatives to enhance cooperation in the basin might be successful at increasing the adaptive capacity and human security within the basin. Such an evaluation of the adaptive capacity of institutions in one of the shared, international basins in the study region comprises a key deliverable of CLICO in its effort to improve understanding of the relationships between hydro-climatic hazards, climate change vulnerability, human security and conflict.


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