Water quality and ecosystem status

Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) (2005)
Type
Report

The Winam Gulf’s aquatic environment (Figure 1) represents a considerable part of the economic potential of the country, e.g. with regard to fisheries and navigation. However, the use, the management and the preservation of the aquatic ecosystem and its natural resources require an adequate knowledge of physical, chemical and biological processes and features within this environment. Although there are many features of Lake Victoria, which are of intense interest to scientist, it is fish biology and economics that have received the most attention The study program had a multidisciplinary character and included the themes specified in the objectives. Methods of research within the seven interrelated themes are given in this report. Together with data from historical sources and literature collect during the LVEMP project, they provide basic knowledge about the meteorology, river regime, hydraulics, sediment transport and deposition, land use characteristics of their drainage basins (watershed), nutrient fluxes, biota associations and environmental impacts The Water Quality and Ecosystem Management Components of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) in the three East African countries collaborating on LVEMP phase 1 have made considerable progress towards understanding Lake Victoria water quality and its ecosystem as well as effects of resource utilization and exploitation on the lake and its catchment. The components have been able to collect considerable amounts of data and information. In order to achieve LVEMP objectives and Water Quality and Ecosystem Management objectives, in particular, a well-coordinated analysis, synthesis and interpretation of all relevant data was required. This synthetic report documents and explains the changes that have taken place over the recent decades, and it provide an overview of the present water quality status of the lake as well as identifying past changes and continuing trends that may require remedial action. The report provides enough detailed information and spatial resolution at the regional scale to support environmental decision making in regards to possible remediation of undesirable changes that have reduced beneficial uses of Lake Victoria biological and water resources. To achieve the desired synthesis report, a National Consultant, Dr Joseph Abuodha and an international consultant, Prof. Robert Hecky of the University of Waterloo, Canada, were retained to guide and assist the process of preparation of this National Report as well as integration of these national reports and other studies into the required regional synthesis report. The consultants directly proceeded to visit the National Executive Secretariat and to engage the WQEM component in a working session during the Easter Weekend on 27th and 28th March 2005 as called for in the consultancy contract. An Inception Report was subsequently submitted, giving the results of that working session as well as the overall strategy and timetable for accomplishing the required national synthesis report by end of July 2005 and the regional synthesis report by the end of October 2005.

Publisher
Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP)

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