EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
LAKE VICTORIA BASIN COMMISSION SECRETARIAT
For Immediate Release
Compliance to Navigation Regulations on Lake Victoria Saves Lives.
LVBC, 3rd May 2019, Kisumu, Kenya, Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) commends the good practice of putting on life jackets by 20 passengers who were on a water bus plying on Lake Victoria between Megeta Island and Usenge beach in Siaya County, Kenya on 2nd May 2020.
“The need to reemphasize compliance and effective coordination for safety and security of navigation on Lake Victoria gains sharper attention in face of the rising water levels of the lake and associated marine risks,” said Dr. Ally Said Matano, LVBC Executive Secretary May, 3rd 2020. He further stressed, “Compliance to regulations takes recognizance of the fact that Lake Victoria is among the roughest equatorial Lakes because of erratic weather and storms.”
The rate of passengers who survived on water bus plying on Lake Victoria is a practical case of how compliance and rapid response saved lives. Lake Victoria Basin Commission calls for continued compliance to existing regional regulations and standards on navigation on Lake Victoria by states and non-state actors, specifically private operators using Lake Victoria for transportation of passengers and goods.
In 2007, LVBC coordinated EAC Partner States and other partners to enact the Lake Victoria Transport Act and in 2010 regulations aimed at ensuring safety and security of navigation on Lake Victoria. To forestall marine related accidents and incidents, LVBC in partnership with EAC Partner States installed at least 86 communication aids to navigations on Lake Victoria.
In line with promotion of marine safety and security on Lake Victoria, LVBC coordinates a Multi-National Lake Victoria Communication and Transport Programme with components on Maritime Rescue Communication Centers and Emergency Search and Rescue Stations in riparian countries: the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Such programmatic interventions aim at reducing marine accidents and incidents on Lake Victoria. Implementation of the Multi-National Lake Victoria Communication and Transport Programme is ongoing in the three EAC Partner States. Compliance to safety regulation can spare East Africans from memories of the past marine related tragedies. On 20th September 2018, over 228 lives were lost when MV Nyerere (Tanzania) capsized on Lake Victoria. In November 2018 a cruise boat carrying 100 people capsized in Uganda killing 29 people. Negligence to compliance were at the center of the two unfortunate tragedies on Lake Victoria.
For immediate Release
Dr. Ally-Said, MATANO
Executive Secretary, Lake Victoria Basin Commission