International Conference on Integrated Ecosystem and Water Management in the Lake Victoria Basin Region launched
Cabinet Secretary,Ministry of
Environment,Water and Natural
Hon. Prof. Judi Wakhungu
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Hon. Prof. Judi Wakhungu officially opened an International Conference on Integrated Ecosystem and Water Management in the Lake Victoria Basin Region of Kenya on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 at Kisumu Hotel. The conference runs from 3rd – 6th February 2015.
In her keynote speech, Hon. Prof. Judi Wakhungu noted key manifestations of unsustainable development trends being witnessed in the basin currently amongst them being: widespread watershed degradation, increased water pollution and declining lake levels, rising prevalence of waterborne diseases, increasing conflicts over access and use of natural resources, declining fisheries among others.
“In the Lake Victoria Basin region about 75 percent of the wetland area has been significantly affected by human activities out of which about 13 percent is severely degraded. The River Nzoia basin, which is one of the largest river basins in the region, experienced a tremendous increase in small scale mixed farming by nearly 85 percent between 1986 and 2005,” she explained.
Maseno University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dominic Makawiti shares a word with Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Hon. Prof Judi Wakhungu
The conference is jointly organised by Maseno University, Moi University, Lake Victoria Basin Development Authority (LBDA) and BayCEER-CREATE at University of Bayreuth of Germany in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Other guests present at the conference include the Managing Director LBDA Dr. Eng. Kabok Aguko, Vice- Chancellor Maseno University Prof. Dominic Makawiti, Vice-Chancellor Moi University Prof. Richard Mibey, Prof. John Tenhunen of University of Bayreuth, Germany and Prof. James Reynolds of Lanzhou University, China and Duke University, USA among others
The broad goal of the conference is to develop partnerships, information exchange and cooperative initiatives that contribute to education, problem solving and resource management in the Lake Basin Region under the Consortium for Research in the East African Tropical Ecosystems.
The Lake Victoria Basin supports approximately 35 million people; with the Kenyan portion of the basin supporting approximately 16 million people. The Basin also has a great potential based on the rich agricultural soils, abundant water resources, minerals, fisheries, wetlands, diverse forest resources, wildlife and tourism opportunities.