30 November 2012

Tanzania: Lake Victoria Project Intensifies Pollution Fight

THE Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) is expected to put more emphasis on pollution that has been a menace to marine environment.

The LVEMP Phase II Evaluation Specialist, Francis Madembwe, said this while opening a one-day workshop for environmental journalists, from the lake basin regions of Mwanza, Mara, Kagera, Shinyanga, Simiyu and Geita, held here.

Madembwe said that reduction of environmental stresses will be implemented through strengthening both regional and national institutional capacity for managing shared natural resources by investing in costeffective pollution and erosion mitigation and prevention measures.

Environmental stresses within the lake are fishing, oil spills, untreated liquid wastes and water hyacinth. Stresses from the basin and littoral zones, include land degradation, deforestation, inflow of water hyacinth and pollution from agro chemicals and poor solid waste management.

Madembwe said journalists are supposed to be empowered with knowledge, as the project contributes directly to the achievement of global environmental objectives (GEO) which aims at reducing environmental stress in target pollution hotspots and selected degraded sub catchments for the improvement of the livelihoods of communities.

"That is why in an effort to implement project activities, LVEMP II has collaborated with the Mwanza Press Club (MPC) for the organization of this workshop aimed at sensitizing journalists on Lake Victoria basin environmental issues," he said, adding that the main objective of the workshop is to build capacity for journalists based in the Lake Zone and those from other parts of the country in reporting environmental issues on Lake Victoria Basin correctly, and comprehensively as part of awareness raising to the community at different levels, in the basin.

He pointed out the importance of raising project profile to the public by using environmental journalists; it will influence the public and other stakeholders to take part in development activities including that of protecting both the lake itself and the surrounding environment.

"Therefore, journalists through their involvement need to be treated as part of the project implementation team instead of being mere sources of information of LVEMP," he said.

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