The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has been commended for its contribution towards Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication in the Lake Victoria Basin.
Principal and Permanent Secretaries (PSs) from the East African Community (EAC) Partner States urged the Commission to continue with its quest to impact positively on the lives of people living within the Lake Victoria Basin through high impact projects.
The PSs made the remarks during the just concluded Joint Regional Policy Steering Committee (JPRSC) meeting for the LVBC Projects and Programs that took place from the 30th January – 3rd February 2023 at Sarova Imperial Hotel, Kisumu Kenya.
In his opening remarks Mr. Abdi Dubat, the Principal Secretary, State Department for EAC, ASALs and Regional Development of the Republic of Kenya lauded the Commission for rolling out projects and programs which have benefited all the five Partner states.
“The Lake Victoria Basin, which is home to over 40 million people, enjoys a rich Biodiversity with potential for huge economic growth “he said.
“However, the Basin, continues to experience environmental threats and challenges, which must be tackled to realize the desired social economic benefits of regional integration in environmental management as embodied by the EAC slogan of “One People, One Destiny”. He added,
On her part, Eng. Nadhifa S. Kemikimba, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water, Tanzania, rooted for enhanced protection of the environment and sustainable development of the Lake Victoria Basin to address the increasing population demands.
The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Water and Environment of the Republic Uganda, Mr. Alfred Okidi Okot, intimated that LVBC was putting together bits and pieces of how people of the EAC can live and work together and share resources as one people with one destiny.
“LVBC is doing a great job in implementing regional projects that ensure the people around the Lake Victoria Basin adapt and are resilient to the effects of climate change” Mr. Okidi said.
Commenting on Lake Victoria, Mr. Okidi further stated, “this is a shared resource and therefore, we need to manage it in a shared manner so that we have a common goal to ensure the quality and quantity of this resource is not affected.’
The meeting further reaffirmed the commitment and support by the EAC partner states in all the initiatives and lauded the LVBC Secretariat in its resource mobilization drive to develop initiatives to uplift the lives of the people within the basin.
The Executive Secretary Dr. Masinde Bwire in his remarks, acknowledged the importance of the RPSC as the organ charged with assessing the performance of projects and programs. “This meeting is the supreme organ that strategically manages and provides policy guidance to the LVBC projects and programs’ Dr. Bwire stated.
Dr. Bwire’s sentiments were echoed by the chair of the session Eng. Dodiko Prosper, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Republic of Burundi.
“Outcomes of the assessment will inform policy and strategic guidance for LVBC projects and programs,” Eng. Dodiko stated.
He further congratulated the Commission for the substantive progress and achievements registered through the various projects and programs implemented by the commission.
The Executive Secretary expressed his satisfaction for the Chairperson’s leadership during the meeting and thanked the Principal/Permanent Secretaries for their deliberations geared towards improving our people’s living standards..
The Executive Secretary further expressed his gratitude for the senior officials’ tireless efforts in reviewing the different project status reports by the project coordinators and making appropriate recommendations for successful implementation of the projects and programs within the Lake Victoria Basin in the limited time provided for by the meeting
He emphasized the importance of the projects and programs under review and resource mobilization efforts for future projects to the Lake Victoria Basin and the Commission stating the adverse challenges faced by the lake and the riparian communities including, pollution, land degradation, wetland sedimentation among others.
Dr. Bwire concluded by reiterating the Commission’s commitment in Implementing the recommendations and directives of the RPSC for successful projects and programs implementation.