Lake Victoria, source of the White Nile © Alison M. Jones
“UGANDA’S WHITE NILE RIVER BASIN” EXPEDITION, 2010
NO WATER NO LIFE (NWNL): This project combines photography and science to raise public awareness of our fresh-water crisis and sustainable management strategies. NWNL is documenting six case-study watersheds in Africa and North America to help educate the public, change behaviors and generate political will to protect our freshwater resources. NWNL is funded by grants, private donations and in-kind donations. Wings WorldQuest, a nonprofit supporting science education, exploration and conservation, provides 501c3 status to NWNL donors.
THE WHITE NILE RIVER BASIN: One third of Africa’s populations reside in and depend on the natural resources of the Nile River Basin. The White Nile (2300 miles, 3700 km.) is punctuated by Lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and Kyoga. Climate change, population growth, pollution and infrastructure are currently threatening the natural resources and balance of this watershed. Issues NWNL is studying include:
Forest and wetlands: The headwaters face deforestation, dam proposals and increasing settlement.
Lake Victoria: Pollution and invasive species threaten the livelihoods of 30 million lakeshore inhabitants.
Climate change: Increases in floods and droughts are greatly impacting this watershed.
EXPEDITION METHODOLOGY: The NWNL White Nile River Expedition in Uganda, carrying a Wings WorldQuest flag, will produce still documentation and stakeholder interviews to be disseminated in various media; used as educational tools; and shared with other watershed stewards. The expedition will document reaches of the White Nile from Lake Victoria to Murchison Falls, the Semliki River, protected lands and riparian habitats within the Nile River Basin and the impact of bridges, channelization and hydro installations.
Ongoing since 2007: Research and fund-raising by NWNL project director, advisors and interns.
Spring 2010: NWNL director/photographer to travel through the White Nile Basin.
On return: Photography, video, journals and interviews to be edited for broadcast and reports.
2010 and on: Documentation to be publicized via lectures, exhibits, articles, Internet and educational tools. The White Nile documentation will be integrated into NWNL materials on its other case-study watersheds.
RELEVANCE OF EXPEDITION: Stewardship in the vulnerable White Nile River Basin and shrinking Lake Victoria is needed to protect the region’s ecosystems and species – including humans. Degradation and poverty in this sub-watershed foreshadow the future elsewhere in the greater Nile River Basin and throughout Africa. Mud-slides, no access to water, water-related diseases and conflicts over water are already causing social insecurity and potential breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism.
EXPEDITION ENDORSEMENTS: NWNL thanks those endorsing this expedition: International Rivers, Explorers Club, Wings WorldQuest, Global Information Network, and the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Funding came from generous private donations and in-kind contributions by Focus on Planet Earth.
Please contact NWNL to make 501c3 donations towards post-production costs of this expedition.