EU finances Lake Victoria management
Friday, November 07, 2003
Business Times (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) Times Correspondent
The European Union (EU) will spend Tsh35.7 billion on financing the management of Lake Victoria fisheries.
The project - Lake Victoria Fisheries Management - is aimed at improving the livelihoods of the communities that depend on the fishery resources of the lake. It will be implemented in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda between this year and 2008.
The project will ultimately help reduce poverty, food insecurity and unemployment in thew region.
The EU Head of Delegation in Tanzania, William Hanna, told the press here recently that the project focuses on better enforcement and management of the lake in the three countries.
About 35 per cent of the total consumption of fish and fish products in the EU, he noted, is imported from Tanzania. That is why the Commission decided to finance the project.
The need to manage the lake is crucial, as the world's second largest fresh water lake is facing heavy fishing pressures.
The introduction of alien fish species has brought about a situation whereby about 60 per cent of the original species are facing extinction.
Furthermore, rapid changes are going on in the catchment areas, all of which adversely affect the lake's environment. Among these are unbridled demographic growth and urban development, ongoing agriculture and forestry practices, and the discharge of pollutants into the lake and the atmosphere.
There is excessive fishing due to unrestricted access to fisheries and the use of destructive fishing gears and methods, as well as the limited involvement of fishermen and lakeside communities in the management process.