Coordination Committee of the 17th SECOM in Session, 10th Nov 2016, Tom Mboya Labour College
The 17th SECOM Kicks off in Kisumu, Republic of Kenya
The 17th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin (SECOM) officially kicked off 9th November 2016 at Tom Mboya Labour College, Kiusmu, Republic of Kenya. The SECOM was preceded by the meeting of expert from the Ministries of Water, Environment, Health and Natural Resources from the 5 East African Community Partner States.
The experts analyzed the LVBC's institutional matters, programmes/project progress and submitted recommendations to the Principal and Permanent Secretaries who also submit the reviewed reports to the Ministers for policy guidance and effective oversight of LVBC Management. Opening the meeting, Eng Mbogo Futakamba, the Chairperson of the Coordination Committee and Permanent Secretary of Water and Irrigation, in the Republic of Tanzania, praised the progress of programmes and projects coordinated by LVBC and implemented in 5 EAC Partner States.
He noted "LVBC programmes and projects lead to livelihood improvement in the EAC Partner States." He cited Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Programme Phase two (LVWATSAN II), Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase II as some of the programmes and projects with significant impacts on ground. He also commended LV BC leadership for having steered the LVBC to the right direction in the last 10 years. He reiterated the commitment of the coordination committee to provide necessary support to LVBC to effectively deliver on its mandate. He said "Our support to LVBC is irreplaceable and irreversible as you endeavor to improve the livelihoods of over 40 million people in the Lake Victoria Basin."
Dr Margaret Mwakima, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Republic of Kenya, the host of LVBC also commended the unity of purpose characterizing the EAC Partner States as evidenced by unanimity while deliberating issues in the forums such as Regional Policy Steering Committee and Sectoral Council of Ministers among others. She informed delegates about the success of recently held Mara Day Celebrations in Bomet County, Republic of Kenya, noting that it was "colorful and successful." She called for more concerted efforts of different actors in the wider Lake Victoria Basin to reverse the environmental challenges facing the region.
Dr Ali-Said Matano, the LVBC Executive Secretary, highlighted the institution's achieved milestones, critical challenges still facing the basin and the future commitments to further improve the lives of people in the EAC Partner States as reflected in the draft LVBC Strategic Plan 2016-2021. He expressed gratitude to the EAC Partner States and Development Partners who unreservedly support LVBC's aspiration: becoming an economic growth zone for the East African Community through a wide ranging policy guidance, financial resources among others. Dr Matano specifically underlined how the programmes and projects of LVBC significantly impact lives of millions at the lowest levels of communities in the EAC Partner States.
Cognizance of the fact that more work still needs to be done, the LVBC Executive Secretary presented to delegates the institution's efforts in engaging different partners and as a result, new projects and programmes are at the advanced pipeline stage. The pipeline projects and programmes will contribute to lessening water resources management, Transport on Lake Victoria, climate change adaptation challenges among others.