The Scoping and Inception Workshop which commenced on the 27th June 2018 at the Norkfolk Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya with delegates from 5 East African Community Partner States applauded the catalytic nature of the Regional Adapting to Climate Change Project.
Delegates acknowledged that the catalytic nature of the USD 5 million Adapting to Climate Change Project in Lake Victoria is reflected in its potential to trigger valuable lessons for future project interventions, its scale up and replication of good practices in Lake Victoria Basin and beyond.
Opening the Workshop, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, East African Community, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, emphasized the need for creating awareness at all levels, community ownership and multi-sectoral complementarity as foundational project activities that will eventually lead to project success and sustainability.
Hon Bazivamo urged project coordinating and implementing agencies to focus project interventions on global commitment—building resilience—noting that climate change is no more rhetorical but real as evidenced by over 200 deaths resulting from floods witnessed in region this year (2018).
He also called for change of practices such as encroachment of Lakeshores, riverbanks, and compacting of swamps for short-term socio-economic benefits by socio-economic actors in 6 East African Partner States. Industrial, agricultural and urbanizing cities featured strongly in the discussions as contributors to climate change vulnerabilities by communities in the Lake Victoria Basin.
Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Executive Secretary , Dr. Ally Said Matano stressed the importance of the Workshop as it provides opportunity for EAC Partner States for collective visualization of intended project outcomes and building multi-stakeholder ownership of project processes.
He expressed optimism in the successful implementation of the project as its formulation was widely consultative and participatory hence aligning project objectives to existent contextual national needs and challenges relating to climate change.
“Members of UNEP, LVBC, EAC Secretariat and EAC Partner States effectively participated in the conception of the project. The concluded 19th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin applauded the project objectives and approved its implementation,” Dr. Matano said.
The Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin (SECOM) provides directives and policy guidance to Lake Victoria Basin Commission and was most recently held in Entebbe, Republic of Uganda on 22nd June 2018.
LVBC Executive Secretary added that approval of the Regional Policy Steering Committee (RPSC) by the 19th SECOM expresses unwavering commitment and support for the project by all EAC Partner States.
Delegates to the Nairobi Scoping and Inception Workshop acknowledged complex environmental challenges affecting Lake Victoria Basin and one major workshop task is reviewing project components and outcomes and ensure they are aligned to national climate change adaption action plans (NAPs) in all EAC Partner States.
Aligning project components and outcomes to NAPs will also focus on reducing number of people (75%) in the Lake Victoria deriving their livelihoods from natural resources to environmentally friendly—sustainable—practices. The project emphasizes adoption of smart agricultural practices and community-based approaches as some of the pathways to climate change adaptions in the wider Lake Victoria Basin.
Key project outcomes are institutional and technical strengthening, timely sharing of climate change related information with national policy-makers, technical officers and local communities, reduced community vulnerabilities, enhanced regional climate change resilience and improved knowledge sharing for effective decision-making in the Lake Victoria Basin.
The Scoping and Inception Workshop was organized by LVBC in partnership with UNEP. Over 40 delegates from East African Community Partner States mainly focal sectors are participating in the workshop.