"Rainfall is not entitled here to be negotiated because it is based on nature and it is green water, and green water is not negotiated in any international agreement. That is why Ethiopia is demanding because the Nile water as well all waters within its territory is its natural resources. That natural resource – the resource of every Ethiopian people." Ato Asfaw Dingamo

In Ethiopia, one of the river Nile's sources, the failure of the annual rains has led to catastrophe in the past, leaving millions of Ethiopians dead.

Beyond such tragedy, upstream states claim the past agreements violate their national sovereignty and prevent them harnessing the river for their own development.

In an effort to resolve the growing dispute, in 1999 the ministers of water resources from all the Nile Basin countries met in Dar el Salam, Tanzania.

The so-called Nile Basin Initiative was launched - aimed at promoting joint projects and reaching a new agreement over the sharing of the Nile. Negotiations went on for over ten years.

Ato Asfaw Dingamo, the Ethiopia's water minister, explains why the Ethiopian people, after years of being caught up in internal strife and tragedy, need a greater share of the Nile.

Watch Struggle over the Nile each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on Struggle Over the Nile.

Source: Al Jazeera