E-News Beat #34
March 2023 | News and latest updates
East African Community and Lake Victoria Basin Partner States meet at 10th Joint Regional Policy Steering Committee Meeting
Permanent and Principal Secretaries in charge of water, environment, and maritime transport in the five East African Community and Lake Victoria Basin Partner States convened at the 10th Joint Regional Policy Steering Committee Meeting for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission Projects and Programmes.
The meeting was held from 30th January – 3rd February at the Sarova Imperial Hotel, Kisumu, Kenya and was attended by senior officials, as well as Permanent and Principal Secretaries from Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. East African Community and Lake Victoria Basin Commission staff also attended.
Opening the meeting, Mr Abdi Dubat, Principal Secretary, Ministry of the East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development in Kenya thanked the Lake Victoria Basin Commission for responding to their mission to promote, facilitate and coordinate activities between different stakeholders towards the sustainable development and poverty eradication of the Basin.
Mr Dubat noted that the Commission had over the years initiated various projects and programmes covering key sectors including the environment, water, sanitation, agriculture, health and maritime transport to name a few sectors. All of which have immensely benefited the population in the Basin by improving the quality of their lives.
The Principal Secretary informed participants that Lake Victoria is home to more than 47 million inhabitants and is a biodiversity hotspot, making it an economic growth zone for the EAC region. However, he added that the Basin continues to experience environmental threats and challenges, which need to be tackled to realise the desired economic benefits of regional integration in environmental management.
Image: Senior officials from 5 East African Community Partner States convene to approve a strategy and plan of action set to improve the livelihoods of people living around the lake Victoria Basin
Achievements of the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme
Lake Victoria Basin Commissions’ Executive Secretary, Dr. Masinde Bwire, acknowledged the significant and important role the Regional Policy Steering Committee plays in assessing the performance of LVBC projects and programmes serving as a barometer upon which the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s health and performance is measured.
Dr. Bwire acknowledged the support of the Steering Committee which guaranteed the effective execution of the Commission’s mandate. Dr Bwire noted that senior officials would track progress and lessons learned from programmes including the Integrated Water Resources Management Programme. Reported achievements included the signing of two Project Funding Agreements in Rwanda and Tanzania.
He also informed participants that the proposed High Priority Investments under the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme will provide access to improved sanitation services to 8,800 people in Kisumu, 7,360 in Mwanza, more than 1.8 million people in Kigali and approximately 27,600 people in Kampala. Other key achievements highlighted is the completion of the long-term Regional Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Strategy, and the development of an Investment Planning Operational Manual to guide investment planning and implementation.
The meeting approved the strategy and recommended the next SECOM meeting to adopt it.