Mara: Commitment to save ecosystem
Introduction The quarter ending September 2012 and most of our activities in the past year point to the fact that the issues and challenges facing the Lake Victoria Basin remain largely the same. Environmentally, the Basin faces challenges of degradation due to deforestation, poor watershed management and land use, uncontrolled water abstraction, pollution, and the water hyacinth and other invasive weeds, to mention a few. On the economic front, the Basin is faced by extremely low investment in transport, poor farming and industrial production methods, as well as limitations caused by poor infrastructure. Importantly, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) in particular and the East African Community as a whole are challenged by the need to transform the Basin into a truly regional Economic Growth Zone in the shortest time possible. Strategic Interventions I am glad to mention that despite the above-mentioned challenges, LVBC and its partner institutions are working tirelessly to address and reverse the environmental challenges of the Basin through regional and national interventions. Under the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase II (LVEMP II), for instance, a water hyacinth surveillance, monitoring and control strategy and a sustainable land management strategy for the Lake Victoria Basin have been completed. Th e two strategies shall support improvement in the environment, safeguard human health and ensure that land in the Basin is managed in a sustainable manner. In addition, industries to voluntarily adopt Cleaner Production Technologies and I am glad to note that more and more industries are joining the endeavour to reduce point-source pollution in the Basin. Th e Community Driven Development projects are also starting to take shape at the grassroots in selected sub- catchments.
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