A transboundary environmental education and awareness programme: The Nile basin awareness strategy

The Nile basin is composed of ten riparian countries[1] and 160 million inhabitants. The basin has several environmental threats; land degradation, loss of wetlands and biodiversity, water quality degradation and lack of preparedness for environmental disasters like floods and droughts. The paper describes a synthesis of four years of awareness creation through pilot activities implementation targeting the general public, secondary school and the universities.

Using case studies approach, pilot activities like thematic transboundary awareness campaigns targeting the general public within the Nile basin are highlighted. The paper describes the process and shares successes and constraints in implementation of transboundary campaigns. Using at least 10 schools per country as a pilot, the paper describes, teachers capacity building, students exchange, school materials development and school awards as part of the model that fits within resource poor schools, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The process of developing a framework, including teaching resources materials which can be used as a stand alone course, a short course or units within an existing course is described. How does a project assist Governments in development of environmental and ESD strategies? The paper tries to answer this question using Burundi and Rwanda as case as case studies. The paper concludes with lessons learnt in planning, implementation and evaluation of transboundary awareness these pilot activities. It gives recommendations for implementation of similar activities, especially for river basin projects around the world.