PS Dr.Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, Min of Environment, Rep. of Kenya during JRPSC, Kisumu, Kenya, 14th February 2020
The Joint Regional Policy Steering Committee (JRPSC) attended by delegates from the six EAC Partner States emphasized programmatic and strategic contributions of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) to the economies of the EAC Partner States. “LVBC plays a special role to the economies and livelihood of the people of the EAC despite many challenges the Lake Victoria Basin faces,” Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Kenya.
Lake Victoria Basin is hugely endowed with natural resources ranging from water resources, fisheries, wild lives among others. The Protocol for Sustainable Development (2004) of the Basin considers the Lake Victoria Basin as an economic growth zone for East African Community.
Guided by three objectives: consider the status of implementation of previous decisions and directives, review of progress of programmes/projects implementation, among others, the JRPSC ended on 14th February 2020 in Kisumu, Kenya.
While commending successes of flagship programmes and projects such Lake Victoria Environment Project (LVEMP II) and Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Programme (LVWATSAN II), Dr. Kiptoo cited catchment degradation, climate change and soil erosion as critical challenges that need concerted and collaborative efforts at regional levels.
Dr. Ally-Said Matano, LVBC Executive Secretary informed the delegates to the JRPSC about LVBC’s progress, challenges encountered, and status of implementation of the directives and decisions of the previous JRPSC. He reiterated the strategic role of JRPSC as the highest policy responsible for accessing the regional projects and programmes of LVBC. “This forum provides policy and strategic guidance to LVBC” LVBC Executive Secretary remarked.
Remy Norbert Duhuze, Director of Environment Regulation and Pollution Control, Rwanda Environment Authority, Republic of Rwanda also commended LVBC for effective coordination of regional programmes and projects. Mr. Duguze, however called for concerted efforts, specifically ensuring that projects benefits are tricked down to over 40 million local population in the Lake Victoria Basin. He registered his commendation LVBC’s contributions towards mobilization of resources targeting the reversal of climate-induced and environmental challenges in the Lake Victoria Basin.
Different speakers at JRPSC regretted the damages caused my floods and landslides experienced in many parts of the EAC Partner States from December 2019 through to January 2020.