EA to address hyacinth, poor fishing habits on Lake Victoria
If we don’t address these problems now, they will become bigger and bigger. If we don’t act now, it will be difficult to address it in future, secretary Matano says
The East Africa Community member states Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the challenges that face Lake Victoria.
The countries have admitted that water hyacinth has choked the lake.
Other problems are pollution and disrupted fishing and transport systems.
Ministers, PSs, EAC secretariat officials, East Africa Legislative Assembly members drawn from EAC’s five member states and Lake Victoria Basin Commission officials spoke at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisu- mu during celebrations to mark LVBC’s 10 years anniversary.
The celebrations were preceded by the 17th Sectoral Council of Ministers of the LVBC meeting. The leaders promised to solve problems that face Lake Victoria, such as the hyacinth.
LVBC 2016-21 and Population, Health and the Environment strategic plans and the commission’s website were launched.
Tanzania’s deputy minister for Natural Resources Ramo Makani, who is also Secom chairman, was the chief guest. He said the lake would be endangered if immediate interventions are not put in place.
“Lake Victoria is facing multiple challenges, mostly contributed by human activities. Each partner state should cooperate with its neighbour to manage resources,” Makani said.
Some of the problems include unsustainable fishing practices, reduced water inflow and watershed degradation.
Each member state is addressing the hyacinth problem under the National Implementing Teams, coordinated by the LVBC.
Commission executive secretary Ally Matano said the lake’s future is threatened. “If we don’t address these problems now, they will become bigger and bigger. If we don’t act now, it will be difficult to address it in future,” he said.
“However, we have put in place regulatory frameworks and strategies to address these problems.”
Water PS Fred Segor said even though significant progress has been made, the challenges are yet to be overcome.
He represented Water and Irrigation CS Eugene Wamalwa.
Also present were EAC deputy secretary general for productive and social services Christophe Bazivamo, Mbogo Futakamba, the chairman of the regional policy steering committee and Tanzania’s Water PS, EALA MP Valerie Habineza and Kisumu county commissioner Maalim Mohammed.
Bazivamo said the EAC’s population growth is a threat to the environment and called for concerted efforts in addressing the high population growth.
EAC deputy secretary general Christophe Bazivamo (L) and Tanzania’s deputy minister for Natural Resources Ramo Makani launch the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s Strategic Plan 2016-21 at Tom Mboya Labour College on Saturday