A framework model for carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessment for River Engineering Developement: a case study of Nile Basin
Ogaro, Lugard Kaunda
MetadataShow full item record
Aframework model for strategic environmental assessment for river engineering development in the Nile basin region: The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) methodology promotes the principles of sustainable development ensuring that the three pillars of sustainability, social, economic and the environment are considered at higher levels of decision making, that is, policy, plan and programme (PPP). Indeed, models on sustainable development have evolved over time from the historical conceptualisation that argues that social and economic factors are constrained by the environment to later models that consider economic valuation and social behaviour. This study focuses on the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), as a regional partnership within which the 10 countries of the Nile Basin united in common pursuit of the long-term development and management of Nile waters. The complexity involved here is the recognition of the multisectoral nature of water resources development in the context of socio-economic development, as well as the multi-interest utilization of water resources for water supply and sanitation, agriculture, industry, urban development, hydropower generation, inland fisheries, transportation, recreation, low and flat lands management and other activities. The main objective of this research was to develop a framework model for carrying out SEA for River Engineering related PPPs for the Nile Basin Countries. To achieve the main objective, three specific objectives were sought: To analyse, through case studies, how a selected number of countries in the Nile Basin have applied or used SEA in various proposals (or PPPs); to test for sustainability equilibrium of various SEA methodologies from case studies, using set theory, Venn-diagram model; and eventually to develop a framework model for carrying out SEA for River Engineering (RE) development proposals at PPPs in the NBCs. To realise these objectives, the study took the premise that, mutual inclusiveness of social, economic and environmental factors at higher levels of decision making, that is, PPPs, could lead to achievement of sustainable development. This premise was represented in a Venn diagram providing for a pictorial presentation of how social, economic and environment variables are interdependent on one another. The process of developing the model involved definition of the variables by representing them in a set theory. From the literature and case studies' reviews, 10 process levels (PLs) forming the framework model for an SEA were identified and analysed both vertically and horizontally to generate a Sustainability Equilibrium Index as a quantifiable measure of sustainable development. The developed framework model was then applied on five samples of SEAs undertaken within the NBCs to test on their suitability. In the application of the model, the study made two assumptions, one that the PLs have got equal weight and two, that a sustainable process was achieved when the sustainability index was above 0.8. Therefore in the research outcome, a score of less than 0.8 meant that a number of key PLswere ignored during an SEA exercise. Accordingly, out of the five (5) samples of SEAs undertaken in the NBCs, only one (1), an SEA for the Kenya Forests Act 2005, fulfilled this requirement by achieving Sustainability Equilibrium Index of 0.83. The study recommends the use of this framework model across the 10 Nile Basin Countries as it is seen to enhance sustainable use of Nile Basin water resources and ultimately promote solidarity and co-operation among the countries.