Kampala, 1 August 2005 – In order to raise awareness among the residents on the need to take better care of Lake Victoria, UN-HABITAT recently launched a successful clean up drive in three towns sitting on the lake.
The clean up was done in collaboration with The Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC), the East African Communities Organization for Management of Lake Victoria Resources (ECOVIC) and the three pioneer CDS cities, Kampala, Kisumu and Musoma.
The Clean Up took place starting in Musoma on 9 July, Kisumu on 11 – 13 July with the official launch in Kampala on 16 July. Prior to the launch, the beach communities from Musoma, Kisumu and Kampala participated in weeklong awareness campaigns and clean up activities dubbed “A clean environment is everyone’s responsibility”.The theme in Kisumu focused on the ban of car washing by the Lake while in Musoma it was on the role of the youth in conserving the environment.
Activities included site-clearing, tree planting, harvesting of water hyacinth, football matches, boat racing, choir and poem competitions, installation of litterbins, cultural exhibitions, presentation of the Lake Victoria Environmental awards and information sharing on how the Lake can be sustained and well managed through eco- friendly sustainable alternatives.
The official launch at Ggaba landing site was presided over by the Water, Lands and Environmental minister, Major. General. Kahinda Ottafire and the Kampala Mayor, Mr John Ssebaana. The residents of Ggaba and the neighboring Bunga had been mobilized during the week to collect garbage from their homes and put it at specific collection points. Five tipper lorries with fuel from Kampala City Council Divisions were on site collecting the garbage and taking it to Kitezi - the official garbage-dumping site for the Kampala City Council.
LVRLAC secretary general Dr. Ayo Odongo, flagged off a brass band led march past from Bunga to Ggaba, a distance of three kilometers. In attendance were representatives of UN-HABITAT, LVRAC, ECOVIC and government officials, stakeholders, a delegation from the municipalities of Kisumu, Musoma, Homabay, Entebbe, and Mwanza, and local residents. A cooperation agreement was signed between UN HABITAT, LVRLAC and ECOVIC with the aim of forging a partnership to create synergy towards conservation of the Lake basin.
UN-HABITAT with support from SIDA have implemented the first phase of the project “Lake Victoria CDS/Slum Upgrading for Improved Urban Environment and Poverty Reduction” aimed at mobilizing city authorities along Lake Victoria and other stakeholders to develop a regional framework for laying out City Development Strategies. The main purpose of phase 2 is to develop a regional approach to improved urban environment and reduce poverty in the Lake Victoria region. The Lake Victoria Clean Up Week is under the CDS programme