By Agwanda Saye.
The second phase of Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme has been extended by two years by the respective donors according to the project’s National Coordinator Francisca Awuor.
According to Awuor despite many hurdles which they have experienced they have implemented various activities and realized various achievements as the project was suppose to end in June 2003 but has been extended to June 2015.
Speaking after an extension tour with journalists on LVEMP 2 projects within Busia,Siaya,Homa Bay and Migori Counties Awuor added that the donor funded project had a budget of $ 30 million which was to be spent within four years but now six year.
“The good about the project’s four main four components phase: Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Managing Shared Water and Fisheries Resources, Point Source Pollution Control and Prevention, Watershed Management and Project Coordination and Management is that so far we are almost achieving all of them as at now we have absorbed 50.6% but we out to have reached 80% to be allowed to move to the next phase”Awuor added.
Already two hundred and twenty five Community Driven Development groups have benefitted from the fund as kshs.300, 950,021 has been disbursed to them while kshs 359,950 021 is yet to be distributed.
She however added that for efficiency measures LVEMP 2 project doesn’t give each individual group money in full but its broken in phases which commensurate the group’s activities progress.
However she cautions the groups against diversifying the fund’ from their initial intended purpose warning that the groups made an agreement with the Kenya government and any found to squander the fund will face the full force of the law.
So far LVEMP 2 in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority is involved in the removal of Water Hyacinth within both the two counties of Migori and Kisumu.
Awuor further said that kshs 0.5 billion has been set aside for the expansion two sewer treatment plants in both Homa Bay and Kisumu Counties while a new plant is to be constructed within Bomet County.
“The Kisat Sewer treatment plant in Kisumu will cost kshs 110 million while the Homa Bay will be done a cost of kshs 210 million with the construction of a new Sewer plant in Bomet will costing kshs 135 million” Awuor added.
Currently, six water laboratories have been completed within Kisumu and are housed in Kisumu and are housed in one building.
The six water labs will help in monitoring quality and quantity of water whether borehole, spring, ground and spring water as well as industrial and disposal waste.
The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project phase two (LVEMP-II) is a regional initiative implemented by the five East African Community (EAC) Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. LVEMP II complements and upscales the LVEMP I activities which ended in December 2005.
LVEMP II is regionally coordinated by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) through its Regional Project Coordination Team (RPCT) based in Kisumu, Kenya. In Tanzania, the project became effective on 20th August 2009, and its implementation covers Lake Victoria Basin Tanzania part in Mara, Mwanza and Kagera Regions, with a total number of 23 districts. The Project is funded by the World Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Government of Tanzania and Communities. The project, which is multi-sectoral and coordinated by the Ministry of Water, is expected to be implemented for a period of 8 years in two phases, from 2009-2013 and 2013-2017.
The Overall Objective of LVEMP II is to contribute to the achievement of EAC’s vision for the Lake Victoria Basin, which is: “creating a prosperous population living in a healthy and sustainable managed environment and providing equitable opportunities and benefits”
The Project development/global environmental objectives (PDO/GEO) of APL1 are to:
i. improve collaborative management of the trans-boundary natural resources of LVB for the shared benefits of the EAC Partner States; and
ii. reduce environmental stress in targeted pollution hotspots and selected degraded sub-catchments to improve the livelihoods of communities, who depend on the natural resources of LVB
The project has four main components: (i) Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Managing Shared Water and Fisheries Resources; (ii) Point Source Pollution Control and Prevention; (iii) Watershed Management; and (iv) Project Coordination and Management.