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East African regional bloc steps up war on water hyacinth and pollution to save Lake Victoria

A granny walks at the shore of Lake Victoria at Dunga beach in Kisumu. East African states to renew war on water hyacinth. [Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

The East African Community partner states have agreed to renew the war on water hyacinth.

Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda also proposed that governments and other players develop pollution prevention and control master plans for all major sources of pollutants within the lake basin.

These are some of the 23 recommendations made by scientists from the regional bloc that are expected to ensure sustainable development of the Lake Victoria Basin.

The scientists, who presented a record 47 research papers, concluded that the campaign to save Lake Victoria needs firm political commitment and more resources.

Last week, during the Lake Victoria Basin Environmental Research and Scientific Conference in Mwanza, Tanzania, permanent and principal secretaries from the five partner states signed the resolutions for the first time in the region’s history.

Raymond Mngodo, the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project regional coordinator, read the recommendations on behalf of the delegates.

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CLIMATE SMART TECHNOLOGIES

The proposals require the states to develop a shared basin-wide framework for water quality monitoring and research.

The delegates also recommended cleaner production technologies among industries and municipalities as an industrialisation strategy for the basin.

“The recommendations from this conference should be used to advance sustainable development agenda to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s strategic plan 2016-21,” Dr Mngondo said.

Another issue that emerged was the need to profile, prioritise and promote climate smart technologies, adaptation and resilience strengthening measures. This includes promotion of alternative energy efficient technologies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Partner states were also asked to support development of Lake Victoria and other navigable inland lakes and rivers as safe and secure international waterways for enhanced inter and intra-regional trade and transport.

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