• Plenary discussion draws consensus on need to unite to save economic lifeline
Discharge of single-use plastic waste and raw industrial effluents is killing Lake Victoria and concerted action is needed to save it, leaders in Nyanza have said.
Speaking during a plenary discussion in Kisumu last month, they said continued pollution in the lake is detrimental to the region's economic growth aspirations.
"We would not want to see the lake die because it is the region’s economic fortune," Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong'o said.
The plenary was on the sidelines of the three-week Flipflopi expedition. Other leaders present included Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti and Water executives Salmon Orimba (Kisumu) and Dickson Nyawinda (Homa Bay).
Consensus arose on the need to institute laws and common policies to help protect Lake Victoria from human encroachment and promote development.
Nyong'o said the lake region counties need to commit to ban single-use plastics, which is the biggest threat to the water bodies.
He said if the national government cannot do it, then the Lake Region Economic Bloc or individual counties can up and do it because the plastics are a real nuisance.
To avoid politicisation of the matter at the national level, he said it is important to have the 'big guys' (international bodies) up there to explain the importance of such ban to the country as a whole.
Awiti said the pollution in the lake that has been witnessed in the recent past has really affected residents' livelihoods, apart from being a threat to the economy.
He said counties need to come up with policies apart from allocating money to conservation efforts and get out of the mess that is currently being witnessed in the lake.
“There is need for the LREB counties to formulate a uniform policy that seeks to regulate activities in the lake to control pollution emanating from human activities,” he said.