If Kenya gets its way, water distribution in east Africa could change dramatically: The nation’s energy minister, Raila Odinga, has called for a review of the 1929 British colonial treaty that grants Egypt the right to veto projects involving use of the headwaters of the Nile. Odinga called the treaty outdated and said it fails to take into account the interests of countries other than Egypt that also depend on the Nile as their main water source. Ethiopia, whose catchment areas account for 86 percent of Nile waters, has echoed Kenya’s demands by calling for an end to a 1959 water-sharing treaty between Egypt and Sudan. Odinga said that countries that use the water downstream should compensate those nations that protect and conserve catchment areas and other parts of the river system.

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