Online Stakeholder Consultation: Developing Monitoring Strategy For Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria, with an estimated surface area of 68,000 sqkm, is considered to be the continent’s largest freshwater, the second largest freshwater in the world and source of the Nile River. The lake is shared by three countries namely: Tanzania (51%), Uganda (43%) and Kenya (6%) catering for services to more than 30 million people. The Lake is reported to be among the leading source of freshwater fish in the world. The lake and the adjoining shore areas are endowed with a diverse range of natural resource base, the most important of which includes fish, arable land and minerals/gemstones. Overall, Lake Victoria is an important source of wealth both economically and ecologically and has become the center of commercial activities for not only Tanzania but Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi as well.

Despite its ecological, economic, social and political importance, the lake is subjected to enormous ecological changes in the past three decades as a result of invasive species, rapid industrialization, land use changes on the upland areas and Lake shores tourism developments. There have been numerous efforts by different entities in conserving, restoring and managing the ecological functions of the lake; however, the problem still persists. Limited conservation and management programmes in the ecosystem has led to the continuous degradation thus threatening peoples livelihood and both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Inadequate monitoring programmes and non availability of information on hotspots has created a gap on having reliable data that can be used for proper management of Lake Victoria.

National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Tanzania recognizes the urgency for an effective monitoring programme to account for anthropogenic activities and their impacts on water quality of Lake Victoria. CSE collaborates with NEMC and other stakeholder entities to establish a reliable, organized and coordinated monitoring system for Lake Victoria for Tanzanian side. This stakeholder consultation is a step to discuss the identified gaps, strategize plan for data collection and moving forward towards development of a robust monitoring plan for Lake Victoria. The consultation will involve NEMC, Ministries of Water, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Lake Victoria Basin Water Board along with other relevant stakeholders. 

For more information, kindly contact

Ishita Garg
Deputy Programme Manager
CSE, India

Dr. Menan Jangu
Director- Research
NEMC, Tanzania