The nine African nations that occupy the Nile river basin have established a secretariat to co-ordinate use of the river for power generation, irrigation, transport and tourism, and to avoid future conflicts in water use.

The secretariat of the Nile Basin Initiative was formed on 3 September and will operate from Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 35km southeast of the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

The venture is supported by the World Bank and the UN Development Programme.

The White Nile begins at Lake Victoria, and then draws water from tributaries in Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. The White Nile is joined in the Sudanese capital Khartoum by the Blue Nile, which then draws water from the western Ethiopia highlands before flowing through northern Sudan and Egypt into the Mediterranean Sea. It is already dammed at several sites.