An expert has warned that a rapid increase in demand for livestock will put enormous pressure on water resources around the River Nile basin in future, according to local reports on Tuesday.
The Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based in Ethiopia, Carlos Sere was quoted by local media as saying that demand for livestock products will put enormous pressure on water resources and that the importance of livestock in managing water resources in the Nile basin has been overlooked.
Sere was speaking at the opening of a regional conference on the Nile basin livestock water productivity in Kampala Monday.
The conference under the theme of "developing a shared vision for livestock production" has drawn participants from Uganda, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Sere said the Nile basin water sustains life for about 200 million people from 10 African countries.
"The Nile basin is home to about 200 million people. Water is the key resource determining their presence. Livestock are key to people's livelihood and currently utilize a significant part of water," Sere said.
He said with population predicted to double by 2025, all countries that are sustained by the Nile basin waters face a major challenge of feeding their growing population.
"Already water shortages constrain food production in many parts of the River Nile basin, producing more food will require more water unless producers and food processors use the available water more efficiently," he added.