The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Executive Secretary Dr. Ally-Said Matano has emphasized the prioritization of interventions in the islands in Lake Victoria Basin as they can be inadvertently ignored by mainstream actors—state and non-state actors operating in Lake Victoria Basin (LVB).
The remarks were made by the Executive Secretary at the LVBC Offices, in Kisumu, Kenya while meeting with Hon. Abbot George Ouma, the Chairperson of the East African Affairs Committee at the Uganda National Parliament and the Member of Parliament for Bukooli Islands County, Republic of Uganda, Senyalo Ismail, Secretary General of Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Counties Cooperation (LAVRLACC) and Hon. Apolo Yeli Ofwono from Tororo Municipality, Uganda and technical teams, 27th August 2019.
The objective of the visit was to conduct a fact-finding mission in Kenya’s counties of Kisumu, Homabay, Migori and the EAC’s Lake Victoria Basin Commission. The discussions at the LVBC centered on sustainable management of resources in Lake Victoria and its wider basin through multi-sectoral collaborations and corroborations as enshrined by the Protocol for Sustainable Development for Lake Victoria Basin (2003).
Hon. Abbot George Ouma, Member of Parliament made passionate appeal to LVBC for the interventions geared towards sustainable management of Lake Victoria, and its integral resources such as fisheries, water and biodiversity in several islands of Lake Victoria. The LVBC coordinated a project in islands of Lake Victoria Basin relating to HIV/AIDS peer education among the fisher-folks in Beach Management Units (BMUs) in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Visitors from Uganda and LVBC Executive Secretary concurred with the need for sharing of knowledge and sustainable management practices of the Lake Victoria with different actors—policy-makers, civil society, private sector and citizens in all riparian countries of Lake Victoria. The meeting resolved to organize a conference through which valuable technical information and knowledge will be widely discussed and shared with islanders, fisher-folks and others actors at both strategic and operational levels.
The outcomes from the conference, according to LAVRLAC and LVBC leaderships will contribute towards influencing policies, practices and laws in the Lake Victoria riparian countries. LAVRLAC Secretary General observed that the strategic partnership between LAVRLAC and LVBC deliver results specifically in addressing critical challenges highlighted by LVBC’s Executive Secretary. LVRLACC is one of the non-state actors with a specific niche as a channel to engage Local Authorities and communities in environmental protection, poverty reduction and sustainable development in the Lake Victoria basin.
LVBC Executive Secretary commended the visit to the LVBC noting the importance of parliamentarians in sensitizing citizens on ways of reversing high risk practices such as poor farming, overfishing and industrial discharges into the Lake Victoria. He commended Uganda’s policy interventions aimed at guarding against over-fishing in Lake Victoria, noting such policy actions should be replicated in all Lake Victoria riparian countries.
Dr Matano also presented to the visitors an overview of LVBC: its mandate, programmatic interventions in East African Community Partner States, challenges in Lake Victoria Basin and key achievements registered by LVBC.
Visitors solicited for solutions for perceived decreasing quantities of fisheries in Lake Victoria. His proposals included, but not limited to enforcement of existing policies and laws, reduction of water pollution, restocking of fisheries resources, promotion of aquaculture, research and development as well as sensitization. The latter fits into the earlier solicited contributions of national parliamentarians in achieving environmental conservations results in EAC Partner States.