The Secretary General for the East African Community (EAC) Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko launched the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme in Kisumu, Kenya, on 14th February 2020.
The Programme will improve water quality and availability in the Lake Victoria through interventions in Kampala, Uganda, Kigali, Rwanda, Mwanza, Tanzania and Kisumu, Kenya and it is an addition to existing programmes and projects regionally coordinated by LVBC.
Present at the launch were delegates from the EAC Partner States, Development Partners, different heads of EAC Institutions, diplomatic corps, representatives from KfW, European Union, among others.
The EAC Secretary General observed that the European Union is one of EAC’s strategic partners as evidenced by 20 years of support to EAC Regional integration. EAC has received over 85 Million Euro through the European Development Fund (EDF). According to Amb. Mfumukeko, the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme is part of foregoing programmatic support.
“As EAC, we are appreciative of this support from the EU because environmental conservation is one of the key pillars of EAC integration,” EAC SG told delegates to the LVB-IWRMP Launch.
Amb. Mfumukeko remarked that LVB-IWRM Programme is crucial for improvement of economic livelihood of people in EAC Partner States because it touches on multiple sectors, but specifically water. “Water is a very important resource that directly contributes to the livelihood of EAC residents,” he said.
EAC Secretary General expressed the EAC’s commitment towards the sustainable and efficient management of environment and natural resources as a pathway to prosperity for the current and future generations. He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government of Germany which significantly contributed towards a portfolio 30 million Euro for LVB-IWRM.
Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko expressed optimism for the success of LVB-IWRM given the fact that it is steered by LVBC: “one of the most dynamic institutions of EAC whose interventions have been wide and deep in EAC Partner States.”
On his part, LVBC Executive Secretary Dr. Ally-Said Matano stressed the importance of the Programme, specifically its expected contribution to reduction of pollution of Lake Victoria waters through implementation of identified High Priority Investments (HPIs).
The HPIs are key tangible projects under LVB-IWRM Programme whose objectives are strengthening LVBC’s long-term strategic water resources capacities, improvement of water quality and availability among others.
He also pointed out the programmatic and strategic importance of the growing partnership between EAC and EU, specifically harnessing knowledge resources and experiences in integrated water resources management. He cited EAC Water Policy and EU Water Framework Directive as key policy instruments with potential to provide opportunities for mutual learning and replication of good practices partners: LVBC, EAC, EU and EAC Partner States.
EU representative, Massimo Bonannini expressed EU’s commitment towards protection of public goods, specifically water through partnership. He also highlighted how IWRM is effective for managing emerging water issues and how they interact with peace.
The KfW representative to launch, Anika Calov, referred to LVB-IWRMP as one of the innovative investments in EAC region and reiterated KfW’s commitments to long-term cooperation with EAC Partner States. “Today, we are not only launching LVB-IWRMP, but kick-starting a long-term programmatic approach in EAC region,” she remarked. She called for delegates in the launch to incentivize the IWRM model because of its long-term benefits different sectors.
Ms. Norzin Nunzi, Representative of Germany Ambassador to Tanzania applauded the existing cooperation between EAC and Federal Government of Germany and seamless free movement of people at borders of EAC Partner States. She noted that Federal Government of Germany is a strong supporter of regional integration process of the East African Community as evidenced by celebration of 20 years of partnerships between Germany and EAC.