GSM Equipment guiding ship campaigns on the right routes on Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria Gets $25 million to Improve Navigation on the Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has received $25 worth 2 billion Kenyan shillings for improving transport on Lake Victoria from Africa Development Bank (AfDB).
Approved on 25th October 2016, the $25 million loan "will support the provision of safe, efficient transport links, and safe fishing activities that are essential to achieving the goals of poverty reduction and sustainable development," Amadou Oumarou, Director of Transport and ICT department at the AfDB.
The Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Dr Ally Said Matano the three EAC Partner States--Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Kenya for the sense of unity that characterized them during the negotiation of the contract. He congraculated LVBC family for effective coordination of the processes that led to the commendable final point.
Dr. Matano reiterated LVBC's commitment to making "transport on Lake Victoria safer, quicker and connecting to other infrastructure projects spearheaded by EAC Partner States.
Lake Victoria plays a central economic role in the region. It has the largest freshwater fisheries in Africa, providing livelihood for three to four million people around its shoreline.
The maritime routes also represent a great potential for trade amongst East African Community Partner States.
The project will address that important gap by establishing a Maritime Communication Network (MCN), based on the existing mobile (GSM) enhanced coverage on the lake and signal location detection features. The SOS alerts will be given by SMS or phone call to the Maritime Rescue Communication Centres (MRCC) which will be established in Mwanza, Tanzania; or to two sub centers based in Kisumu (Kenya) and Entebbe (Uganda).
These regional centres will then dispatch rescue boats based in one of the 22 Emergency Search and Rescue (SAR) stations distributed around the lake.
The loan will finance the extension of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks on the lake and the creation of 22 rescues centres in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, contributing to save lives and stimulate business for the benefit of the economy of the entire Lake Victoria basin.
“GSM is by far the most cost effective solution for maritime communications on Lake Victoria and the one that is most likely to be adopted by lake users,” Enock Yonazi, Project Team Leader at the AfDB, said.
To prevent accident, the lake users will also receive weather alerts by SMS or community radios. At completion, the project is expected to increase the GSM coverage of the Lake from 40% to 80% and mortal accidents are expected to be reduced five-fold.
Putting in place safe and secure maritime and transport infrastructure will contribute to the realization of the East African Community Development Strategy which is articulated in the Bank’s High 5 priorities.
A part of the investment will contribute to the development of the East African Maritime Transport Strategy and the preparation of the Lake Victoria Transport Development Program, a long-term plan which will stimulate both public and private investments, especially in fisheries, lake transport and tourism.