The 16th Meeting of the Sectoral Council of Ministers of Lake Victoria Basin (SECOM) opened in Entebbe, Uganda, on Thursday, with water experts commending the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) leadership for having expedited implementation of programmes.
LVBC is a specialised institution of the EAC responsible for coordinating the sustainable development agenda of the Lake Victoria Basin.
The experts drew from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.
The regional sanitation experts commended Rwanda’s Dr Canisius Kanangire, the outgoing LVBC executive-secretary, for steering the institution towards regional integration through implementing key projects in all the EAC partner states.
"We commend the leadership of LVBC for effective implementation of EAC programmes and projects. We all know how water is a catalyst for the development," said Hamza Sadiki, Tanzania’s director of water resources.
One of the key milestones highlighted were under Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Program (LVWATSAN) implemented in 15 towns of the EAC partner states and community-driven development Initiatives under the Lake Victoria Management Project phase two (LVEMPII).
In Rwanda, LVWATSAN is implemented in Kayonza, Nyagatare towns in Eastern Province and Nyanza town in the Southern Province.
According to Eng. Dan Owore, the LVWATSAN regional programme coordinator, completion of the programmes stands at 74.5 per cent in Kayonza, 71 per cent in Nyanza and 72 per cent in Nyagatare.
The overall programme objective is to contribute to the reduction of pollution flowing into Lake Victoria from the riparian countries, Rwanda included.
Jean-Baptiste Havugimana, the director Productive Sectors at the EAC Secretariat, commended LVBC as an institution whose work embodies the EAC motto: One People, One Destiny.
Meanwhile, according to Dr. Kanangire, there are proximate linkages between erosive and invasive deposits from hills of Rwanda, Burundi and the quality of Lake Victoria waters in Kisumu, Entebbe and Mwanza towns of the Lake Victoria Basin.
Giving the example of LVEMPII and LVWATSAN II, Kanangire said; "Such result-oriented investments made LVBC remain a relevant, responsive and result-oriented institution."
He, however, acknowledged that there are still some gaps, specifically through matching of software and hardware interventions to maximise LVBC impact in the wider Lake Victoria Basin.
The Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria provides policy guidance and takes key decisions with regard to LVBC operations.