The members of the 19th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin (19th SECOM) from five Partner States of the East African commended Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) for mobilizing resources from Partner States and Development Partners.
The 19th Sectoral Council of Minister for Lake Victoria Basin (19th LVB-SECOM) was concluded on 22nd June 2018 in Entebbe, Republic of Uganda.
Representative to Ministerial Meeting, Eng. Isack Kamwelwe, Minister, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, United Republic of Tanzania stressed that sacrifice and hard work of the LVBC leadership and the entire team translated into “commendable achievements.” Key achievements registered in the recent past include, but not limited to mobilizing USD 1.5 million for construction of LVBC headquarters, USD 3.7 million from Nordic Development Fund (NDF) through World Bank for promoting Green Growth and UNEP funded Adapting to Climate Change Project worth USD 5 million.
Dr. Ally-Said Matano, the Executive Secretary for LVBC informed the Ministers and other delegates in the 19th SECOM that LVBC has mobilized 20 million Euro from the Federal Government of Germany through KFW and an additional 10 Euro from European Union to boast Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and High Priority Investments (HPIs) in the wider Lake Victoria Basin.
Dr. Matano further observed that the recorded 5000 annual deaths of East Africans due to accidents and incidents on Lake Victoria are yet to be reversed by AfDB funded Multinational Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport Project worth of USD 36 million.
The LVBC Executive Secretary observed that adherence to legal and policy instruments, for instance, the Lake Victoria Transport Act (2007) alongside the Multinational Maritime Project interventions will reduce annual death rate on Lake Victoria from 5000 to 1000.
Delegates also complemented LVBC for effective implementation of Ministerial directives and decisions as well as sound management of financial resources as evidenced by clean audit report for 2016-2017.
“LVBC projects and programmes have benefited and continue to benefit all the five Partner States within the Basin with such benefits cutting across multiple sectors such as environment, water, health, transport among others,” Hon. Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Republic of Kenya said. The Kenya’s head of delegation to SECOM also pointed out that the spirit of togetherness and commitment by all 5 EAC Partner States to drive regional integration agenda forward is laudable and encouraging.
The Chairperson for the LVB-SECOM, Hon. Dr. Mary Gorreti Kitutu, Minister, Ministry of State for Environment, Republic of Uganda commended LVBC for steering the process of cooperative management of trans-boundary resources and biodiversity in Lake Victoria Basin. She acknowledged the fact though there are still challenges, there is remarkable evidence for the long journey thus far covered by LVBC, EAC Partner States and Development Partners.
“The flagship projects for the LVBC, including the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project and Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Project have come to an end, they have immensely contributed to the improvement of welfare of the basin community and improving the health of the basin’s environment,” the Chairperson of the 19th SECOM said.
She called for concerted efforts in translating pipeline projects into actual projects and fast-tracking the formulation of the next phases of the concluded projects to spread the benefits of project interventions in the Lake Victoria Basin.
In his statement, Dr. Matano noted that while the Commission is making laudable achievements in coordinating projects and programmes geared towards sustainable management of the basin, Basin continues to witness extreme weather conditions such as floods, drought exacerbated by the continual changes in climate. He called for change of mindset and practices as “70% of the challenges facing basin are a result of interaction between people and bio-physical environment.”
The Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin provides policy guidance, directives and decisions to LVBC. According to LVBC Executive Secretary, because of favorable policy guidance from members of the SECOM, the Commission with support from the Partner States has mobilized over USD 500 Million to support various initiatives geared towards ensuring a healthy Lake Victoria Basin in the last 10 years.