Agreement for the Hydrometeorological Survey of Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Albert

Filename: 1967-HydrometSurveyLakeVictoriaKyogaAlbert

Agreement for the Hydrometeorological Survey of Lake Victoria, Kyoga, and Albert (Mobuto Sese Seko)

Source: C. O. Okidi, Review of Treaties on Consumptive Utilization of Waters of Lake Victoria and Nile Drainage
System, 22 Nat. Resources J. 161 (1982). Available at: or For additional details, see B. A. Godana. Africa's Shared Water Resources: Legal and Institutional Aspects of the Nile, Niger and Senegal River Systems (Frances Pinter, 1985), 189-191. Available, perhaps, at

[This is a description and NOT the text of the agreement. No text of the agreement has been found.]

Agreement for the Hydrometeorological Survey of Lake Victoria, Kyoga, and Albert (Mobuto Sese Seko)

A plan of operation for hydrometeorological surveys of the above area was signed by five countries: Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Project declared operational from 17 August, 1967.[127] Its purpose was to evaluate the water balance of the Lake Victoria catchment in regard to control and regulation of the lake level as well as the flow of water down the Nile.[128] Funding for the project was to come from UNDP, while WMO was the executing agency; hence their agreement with the countries territorial in the area of operation and/or interested in the results of the study.

As background preceding the 1967 Agreement, Egypt and Britain had signed an Agreement for cooperation in meteorological and hydrological surveys of the Lake Victoria catchment by an exchange of Notes in 1950.[129] Following that, Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda set up an East African Nile Waters Coordinating Committee to establish and maintain "a common East African case and a point of view on the Nile waters,"[130] which may be perceived as a British attempt to create a kind of counterpart of the framework of the 1950 Agreement. Theoretically, the Committee was to consist of the three Ministers concerned but in fact the Ministers never met as a Committee. Instead, the participants were technical and administrative officers. On a few occasions, members of this Committee, and members of the Permanent Joint Technical Committee of the Nile (Egypt and Sudan) held consultative meetings to discuss such matters as control of discharge at Owen Falls Dam, the future storage of waters in Lakes Victoria and Albert, and irrigation requirements of the East Africa countries in the lake drainage area.' By 1960, the Coordinating Committee had, after preliminary discussions, endorsed the need for a survey of the hydrometeorology of the catchment area of Lake Victoria[132]. In 1961[133] the three East African governments requested the UN Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance for aid to conduct a preliminary hydrometeorological survey of that catchment. In response, a team of three consultants from WMO and FAO took a preliminary survey in early 1962, and submitted a report to the three governments in 1963.[134]

A discussion of that report convinced the three governments that the survey should be extended to include Lakes Kyoga and Albert catchments, and that they should include Egypt and Sudan as participants. A review of the proposal by consultants financed by the UN special fund in 1965 approved the project and Egypt and Sudan were invited as participants in the hydrometeorological survey.[135] At a meeting in Nairobi in August 1965, the representatives of the five countries formulated a project proposal and submitted it to the Special Fund. It later was adopted by the UNDP for funding.[136]

That is the background of the 1967 Agreement. As the project progressed, the five participants had consultations with Rwanda and Burundi to extend the project area to cover the Lake Victoria catchment in Rwanda and Burundi, as well.[137] Thus, the total catchment area under the project is 378,000 square kilometers, of which approximately 325,000 square kilometers is in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and about 53,000 square kilometers in Rwanda, Burundi, and Zaire.[138]

127. Report of the Hydrometeorological Survey of the Catchments of Lakes Victoria, Kyoga, and Albert (Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda) 1 METEOROLOGY AND HYDROLOGY OF THE BASIN PART 11578 (1974) (UNDP and WMO, RAL 66-025 Tech. Report No. 1) [hereinafter Hydrometeorological Survey], Vol. 1, Part 1, at 9. Available at:


129. Id. at 112-13.

130. SEATON & MALITI, TANZANIA TREATY PRACTICE 90-91 (1963), at 91; Fahmy, International Aspects of theRiver Nile (conference paper), U.N. Doc. E/CONF/TP 22 (Jan. 15, 1977, at 8) [hereinafter Fahmy].

131. SEATON & MALITI, supra note 130, at 92.

132. Id.

133. Id.

134. Fahmy, supra note 130.

135. Id.

136. Id.

137. Hydrometeorological Survey, supra note 127.

138. Fahmy, supra note 130, at 7 and 13.