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EAC TO IMPLEMENT A 500 MILLION PROJECT TO BOOST CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION EFFORTS AND SAVE LAKE VICTORIA BASIN FROM DEGRADATION

Posted by African Press International on June 30, 2018

By Dickens Wasonga.

Five   East African countries are set to implement a 500 million shillings climate change adaptation  project across the region .

The project whose implementation will adopt a multi-sectoral approach is  funded by the United Nations Environment Program  and will be executed by the EAC’s Lake Victoria Basin Commission in areas identified as hot spots among the five regional countries.

Addressing delegates drawn from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda during the project scoping workshop on Wednesday, the Commission’s Executive Secretary Dr. Ally Said Matano said the project will focus on implementing activities that will tight reduce the impact of climate change in the region .

”The funds will support mitigation efforts and other sustainable social- economic practices to reduce effects of climate change . The identified interventions will be linked to Agriculture, Aquatics , Health, energy,  transport and institutional capacity strengthening.” Dr. Matano Said.

Community groups and community based
organizations will be sensitized on the best human activities and after the awareness creation they will be given grants to support their activities.

According to the the executive Secretary, the
money was given under the adaptation fund in line with the Kyoto protocol which the EAC states ratified and will further complement the current regional projects being coordinated and managed by the commission on behalf of EAC such as Lake Victoria Environmental management program LVEMP.

”We shall ensure the communities living within the basin , to whom this project seeks to empower are fully brought on board right from the beginning to the end of implementation ”  Dr. Matano said.

The fifteen sites where the project will be implemented includes Katonga  catchment in Uganda, Nyando in Kenya, Rweru in Burundi among other sites which were picked due to their vulnerability and marginalization based on the climate change vulnerability  assessment conducted by the LVBC.

The region has been facing a number of challenges occasioned by the adverse weather patterns which has led to untold sufferings such as  drought and floods
.
Over 200 people are said to have died due heavy rains during  this year alone with an unknown number of livestock, crops and houses being swept away because most countries in the region were never adequately prepared to mitigate the impacts of climate changes.

In most of the countries , River banks have been transformed into farming lands, wetlands destroyed and the many people have constructed houses on the Lake’s riparian areas practices which only compound an already bad situation.

The bad management practices has led to depletion of fish stocks as weeds such as water hyacinth thrive .

The water levels have continued to recede as pollution and silting of the Lake water which supports about 45 million people continue to face increasing stress.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General who officially opened the meeting asked the implementing entities to ensure they involve Members of Parliament in during the process of implementation and recommended that the regional assemblies should have a harmonized legal frame work and policy which will be critical dealing with those who destroy water catchment areas.

”It will be important to enact laws which will be enforced in a harmonized approach to address some of the environmental challenges to protect the basin .  We should work together to implement the trans-boundary measures that will enhance sustainable utilization of the regional resources.” He said

Ends

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