For a five-day summit, a powerful committee from the five East Africa Community members has gathered in Kisumu.
The meeting’s purpose is to assess the status of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s multi-billion dollar projects (LVBC). Ecosystem management for the Lake Victoria basin is coordinated by the LVBC, a special implementing agency of the EAC with headquarters in Kenya.
The commission has been in charge of directing the execution of more than six multibillion dollar donor-funded projects in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, and Rwanda over the past four years.
Dr. Masinde Bwire, executive secretary of the commission, stated that the goal of these major projects is to support the EAC’s integration agenda at the opening remarks of the 10th joint regional policy steering committee meeting on Monday in Kisumu.
According to Dr. Masinde, the initiatives also seek to reduce poverty while promoting the Lake Victoria Basin’s cost-effective management. The executive secretary stated, “We are also ensuring that trade is enabled and that mobility of our people throughout the region is made easy by the implementation of these schemes.”
The participants will also get a report from the commission on resource mobilization strategies, upcoming projects, and partnerships for the previous year during the five-day conference. The integrated water resources management project and the project to adapt to climate change in the Lake Victoria Basin are some of the projects whose status will be evaluated by the delegates.
Other projects include, among others, the Nile cooperation for climate resilience project and the multi-nation Lake Victoria transportation and communication project. Dr. Bwire stated that during the conference, “Partner States will discuss, examine and assess progress made so throughout the ongoing implementation of the six major projects.”
Dr. Bwire observed that the project to adapt to climate change, which began four years ago, was practically finished.
The executive secretary claims that the initiative uses workable ideas and cutting-edge technology to improve and increase the resilience of communities along the basin to the effects of climate change.
According to him, the initiative is carried out in Kenya’s Siaya and Busia districts, Uganda’s Masaka and Uvende districts, Rwanda’s Chirehe district, Burundi’s Muhinga district, and Tanzania’s Magu district. Dr. Bwire went on to say that the integrated water resources management initiative, which has a 45 million euro budget, aims to improve sanitation systems, primarily in slum areas of the largest cities in the EAC.
According to the commission, the project will have a positive impact on more than 80,000 homes. The project is being carried out in Kisumu’s Manyatta estate, which lacks modern sanitation services.
“Kisumu was picked because of the high levels of pollution that are observed along the lakefront city’s coastline, and in particular neighborhoods around the Manyatta slums where sanitary infrastructure is not well established,” he said.
The project’s goal is to replace outdated infrastructure, especially in urban informal settlements, with contemporary ones. Dr. Bwire did note that the Lake Victoria Basin continued to experience significant environmental and ecosystem changes as well as land degradation despite the multiple initiatives, programs, and collaborations.