16 February 2017

East Africa: Vice President for Protected Lake Victoria

Magu — Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged scientists and researchers to make use of the accumulated data and information in guiding decision makers in fulfilling the fifteenth sustainable Development goals.

Gracing the Researchers and Scientific Conference here yesterday, the VP said that the fifteenth sustainable development goal - Life on Land - which envisages protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reserve land degradation and biodiversity loss.

"I encourage you to use this occasion to exchange ideas and access new methods while establishing yardsticks in undertaking science programmes and unique research and monitoring activities," said Ms Samia.

She said that the research and monitoring should be tailored specifically for Lake Victoria Basin as well as establishing benchmarks in governance role that includes leadership, coordination, engagement and decision making.

And, henceforth, making sure that actions to restore and protect the basin are accomplished, through Basin specific initiatives via a wide range of individual nation's programmes.

The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, said that for Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) to move towards preparation of the next phase of the Lake Victoria Environmental management Project (LVEMPII), there is a need to gather sufficient data, information and knowledge to inform the direction of future programmes to be implemented in the basin. S

he said that it was an ample time for the participants to take up this opportunity of the conference to lay down the way forward by sharing research findings and future research and development and ensure future implementation of evidence based and people oriented actions.

Ambassador Mfumukeko, who was represented by the EAC's Deputy Secretary General, Mr Christopher Bazivamo, said that there is a need for commitment to do better than before and minimize selfish interest in a bid to ensure the availability of data, information and knowledge sharing.

The Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongela, said that the shared Lake Victoria, which is the World's second largest fresh water body, has 51 per cent of its surface area within Tanzania territory.

The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Mr Gerson Lwenge, said that Lake Victoria Basin has many environmental challenges.

Among the challenges is the resurgence of water hyacinth and this is due to increased population on the fringes of the Lake which ultimately affects water quality, fisheries and transportation.

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