World Bank extends Sh2b to save Lake Victoria
SEE ALSO :Why Magufuli prefers Chinese aidThis new support is designed to improve the lake region’s environmental management and targets pollution hotspots and sub-catchments areas in the lake basin. According to a statement by the bank, the additional financing will boost the number of beneficiaries to 450,000, roughly a 50 per cent increase in the number under the current project. Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater body and is a shared natural resource, whose water, pollutants and fish stocks freely cross national boundaries of the five countries in the basin (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda). The lake supports the world’s largest freshwater fishery with a total annual landed catch value estimated at around $0.5 billion. The waters of the lake and its catchment provide 90 per cent of Uganda’s hydropower, most of the hydropower for Rwanda and Burundi, and the water supply to major urban centres, including Kampala, Mwanza and Kisumu.
SEE ALSO :True value of the blue economy to KenyaYet the Lake Victoria Basin has also become a global example of environmental degradation brought on by overfishing, industrial and waste water pollution and lax management of the natural resources. Livelihood for poor “By enhancing services and livelihoods for the poor and increasing the long-term productivity of the Basin’s resources, the project contributes directly to ending extreme poverty for the millions of families in the Lake Victoria Basin.” The additional financing will help Kenya, Tanzania and regional project teams to support additional watershed management sub-projects, construct or expand community sanitation and sewerage facilities, and strengthen cleaner production programmes for industries with facilities in the Basin. The number of urban pollution hotspots addressed will increase from 6 to 9, and the area of land brought under sustainable land management from 6,150ha to 8,000 hectares.