PILOT PROGRAMME

EAC to support counties affected by swelling Lake Victoria

Communities in Siaya and Busia will be trained in the use of technology and new farming methods.

In Summary

• Mayani said $5 million (Sh548 million) had been set aside to assist affected communities in the five EAC countries, with Kenya getting Sh52 million.

• Mayani said the programme would run until 2022.

Flooded Mbita main fish banda in Lake Victoria
Flooded Mbita main fish banda in Lake Victoria
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The East African Community has launched a programme to support counties that have been affected by the rise in water levels in Lake Victoria and flooding in Budalang'i.

Under the Adopt Climate Change in Lake Victoria Basin programme, which is in its pilot stage, communities in Siaya and Busia counties will be trained in how to deal with climate change through the use of technology and new farming methods.

Mayani Saino from the Ministry of Environment said on Tuesday the pilot programme followed studies that identified the four vulnerable counties along the Lake Victoria Basin. They are Busia, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori.

Mayani, the coordinator of the Adopt Climate Change in Lake Victoria Basin, said the programme would run until 2022.

“After the studies, the ministry and EAC have moved in to strengthen the resilience of the affected communities through the use of technology and new farming methods,” she said.

Mayani said $5 million (Sh548 million) had been set aside to assist affected communities in the five EAC countries, with Kenya getting Sh52 million.

She spoke during a meeting held at Lake Naivasha Resort between the EAC and senior officers from the two counties.

Lake Victoria Basin Commission executive secretary Ali Matano attributed the current rise in water levels in Lake Victoria to the ongoing heavy rains that have been pounding the region since 2019.

“We have seen persistent flooding in Homa Bay, but the rise in water levels has had an impact on other regions, hence this programme to support affected communities,” he said.

On the water rise, Matano said water from 22 rivers flow into the lake, which has only one outlet in River Nile, leading to a rise in the levels.

“We need to come up with an early warning system so that we can be prepared for drought or heavy rains, which have created a crisis around the basin,” he said.

Siaya Water and Environment executive George Misore said rising water levels had hurt all sectors, including health and infrastructure.

“This programme comes in handy as it will help strengthen the resilience of affected persons through training, capacity building and introduction to new technologies,” he said.