East African legislative assembly to formulate laws regarding Lake Victoria
Saturday, July 13, 2002
The East African Standard. By Ayub Savula And Denis Lumiti
East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) is formulating laws to govern the utilisation of Lake Victoria resources among the three member countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Eala Legislator, Mr Maxwell Shamalla, said yesterday that the laws will include a management programme for the lake to sustain and protect its natural resources.
He observed that the controversy surrounding fishing activities in the lake between Kenyan fishermen and Uganda authorities posed a serious security risk in the waters.
And he explained that Eala was closely monitoring the situation and will soon act accordingly.
Shamalla, who is a Ford-Kenya nominee to the Regional Assembly , was speaking to reporters in Kakamega town.
He was reacting to the Kenya Government declaration that it will launch a protest to the Ugandan Authorities over the harassment of Kenyan fishermen carrying out their activities in the lake.
The Western Provincial Commissioner (PC), Mr Peter Kiilu, was reported in a section of the Press to have said that the Kenya Government will launch the protest during their joint security meeting in Uganda next month.
And recently, the Nyanza PC, Mr John Nandasaba, told the Ugandan authorities to stop harassing Kenyan fishermen operating in the lake as a regional pact over the use of the lake was underway.
Yesterday, Shamalla explained that the position of the regional assembly was to have proper utilisation of the lake's resources among the three countries.
He noted that Eala will also investigate the current arrests and harassment of Kenyan fishermen in the lake to establish the truth.
"Someone somewhere is not telling the truth over this matter and we have to establish the root cause of the alleged harassment," added Shamalla.
He said the tax issue has to be resolved as it was an income arising from the utilisation of the lake's resources and fishermen should not evade it.
Shamalla said Eala is expected to resume its sittings in August this year in Arusha, Tanzania, with the Lake Victoria issue being one of the first problems to be addressed.