New World Bank study highly critical of efforts to protect Lake Victoria
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
The East African Standard (Nairobi, Kenya) by Anderson Ojwang
The three East African countries have been accused of failing to address industrial waste discharge into Lake Victoria. A World Bank report says industrial and municipal effluent management objectives were not formulated by the states. The report indicates that industrial pilot projects were not undertaken as was stipulated in the programme.
Guidelines, economic instruments and effluent standards are still lacking in Kenya and Tanzania but are ready for use in Uganda. "Kenya and Tanzania lack data on the reports and data assessment has not been undertaken by Kenya," the report says. It further says Tanzania and Kenya are yet to undertake rehabilitation of sewer plants.
On land use and wetland management, the report says no policy framework had been put in place by the three countries. The objectives are inconsistent in Uganda and Kenya and delayed in Tanzania. Current fishing is over exploiting the Nile perch stock in the lake.
"Nile perch catches are exhibiting a downward trend and other species are increasing by default, including haplochromines," the report notes.
On the water hyacinth, the report says the weed coverage has reduced by 80-90 per cent in most areas. The major remaining inflow of the weed to the lake is from river Kagera.
Several remedial measures have been undertaken in Uganda and Tanzania but with little success. Community involvement in tackling the weed has helped in its reduction, the report says.
It says there have been no capacity building programmes to ensure community participation in the fight against the weed.