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Parliamentarians urge increased funding for Lake Victoria

By Julius Odeke

Members of the Parliamentary Committee on East African Community Affairs in the Republic of Uganda have promised to recommend increased Partner States financial contributions for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC).

The Parliamentarians, who were on a two-today visit to LVBC Secretariat in Kisumu, Kenya, were responding to a brief on the operations and management of the Commission.

The Chairperson of the visiting Committee, Sarah Mwebaza (Woman Representative, Kibuku district), hailed the development partners currently supporting LVBC’s activities. She however expressed concern about the disparity between the Partner States and development partner contributions, urging a progressive increase in contributions to match the goodwill and commitment of donors.

“The Commission’s biggest budget of 94.2 percent from donors cannot be depended upon in the long term. If donors pull out on most of the useful projects I have seen, then it will come to a standstill,” Mwebaza noted at the end of the visit. “Let the Partner States increase their funding to LVBC at least by 50 percent.”

Mwebaza, welcomed the idea of having a Forum for Lake Victoria Basin Commission to share information with policy-makers in the Partner States and promised her Committee’s full participation in such process.

The MPs received a briefing on the operations and management of LVBC, including its ongoing projects and programmes: Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase II (LVEMP II); Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Programme Phase II (LVWATSAN II); Maritime Communication and Safety on Lake Victoria Project (MCSLV); Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP); Transboundary Water for Biodiversity and Human Health in the Mara River Basin Project (TWBHH-MRB); EAC/AMREF HIV and AIDS Programme (EALP); and the Partnership Fund.

They agreed that as part of LVWATSAN II, Ntungamo Municipality, Mayuge town and the Kayabwe-Buwama-Bukakata cluster will benefit from several programme components including water supply, environmental sanitation, storm water drainage and capacity building.

Members of the visiting team from the Parliament of Uganda included the Chairperson, Mwebaza, Tony Ayoo (Kwania Country), Sarah Kayagi Netalisire (Woman Representative, Manafwa district), Nelson Sabila (Kongasis County), Fred Badda (Bujumba County) as well as Martha Kaganzi, Principal Clerk Assistant.

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