The Lake Victoria Basin Partner States have jointly agreed to implement a long-term water resources’ planning and management framework at an initial cost of USD 550 Million over the upcoming five (5) years.
The decision was made on the basis of an Integrated Water Resources Management Strategy developed for the Lake Victoria Basin and completed in January 2023.
Upon agreement by the Partner States, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) initiated the formulation process from 2020 onwards.
The process kicked off with a detailed situation analysis, based on existing documents review, intensive stakeholder consultation and collective basin vision development.
The approach was tailor-made to differences in transboundary basins, geographical location, biophysical, economic, socio-cultural and political settings.
The developed strategy has a broad scope and includes measures on watershed management and ecosystem conservation, water resources development, climate change and disaster risk management, and institutional capacities strengthening in the Basin.
Water resources knowledge management and transboundary water governance are also part of the Strategy.
The time horizon for the Strategy runs up to 2050 and is through five consecutive 5-year implementation plans, each with specific interventions, targets and indicators.
These periodic plans shall be integrated with the 5-year strategic planning cycle of the LVBC, ensuring adequate institutional anchoring as well as periodic updating and alignment.
The lessons learned during the development include the importance of stakeholder engagement for gaining acceptance of the plan; dealing with gaps in scientific data and information and complement and remedy these by local knowledge.
In addition, it was also noted that transboundary plans have relevance and gain support of the Partner States only if they address urgent local problems while also contributing to achieving regional development and integration goals.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Dr. Masinde Bwire, the budget estimates to support the first 5-year Strategic Action Plan’s implementation (2025-30) is expected to be approved during the next meeting of the Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin.
Engineer Arsene Mukubwa who is coordinating the Integrated Water Resources Management Programme under implementation by the LVBC, said the Strategy comes in at a critical time as a guiding tool for regional investment planning.
Engineer Mukubwa pointed out that the Strategy will also play a pivotal role in addressing the threatening water resources issues in the Lake Victoria Basin.