17 February 2013

Kenya, Tanzanian Sign Ecosystems MoU

The Governments of Kenya and Tanzania have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the joint transboundary management of lakes Chala, Jipe and the Umba River ecosystems.

It was signed during the session of the regional Coordination Committee of the 11th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin taking place at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu, Kenya.

The MoU was signed by Mr. John Rao Nyaoro, the Director of Water Resources on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Republic of Kenya and Eng. Christopher Sayi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water, United Republic of Tanzania. The agreement is meant to establish a Joint Cooperative Framework for sustainable development and management of the ecosystems and help to set up institutional arrangement for the management of the proposed programme.

It also states several obligations of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, including the coordinating programme development and implementation; promoting the sharing of experiences and lessons learned; and providing technical support and advice.

According to the MoU, the LVBC Secretariat will use experiences and lessons learned from the Transboundary Water for Biodiversity and Human Health in the Mara River Basin (TWBHH-MRB) funded by USAID East Africa and the Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) funded by the governments of Norway and Sweden to facilitate preparation and implementation of Lakes Chala, Jipe and Umba river ecosystems.

The two partner states agreed to cooperate in the areas of water supply and sanitation, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), natural resources, environmental and ecosystems management, land use practices, capacity building, data and information sharing, research and development.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the LVBC Executive Secretary, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, noted that the signing of the MoU had set a good example in management of transboundary ecosystems in Partner States. Dr. Kanangire expressed the LVBC Secretariat's commitment to support the implementation of the MoU "as will be directed by the Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin." Lakes Chala, Jipe and Umba river is one of the East African Community transboundary ecosystems shared by Kenya and Tanzania.

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