LAKE Victoria Environmental Project phase two (LVEMP-II) has successfully uprooted water hyacinth from Lake Victoria from 520 hectares in 2010 to 106 hectares in May this year, which represents an 80 per cent success rate.
This was revealed here on Wednesday by the LVEMP-II Project Coordinator, Mr Omary Muyanza, during an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ on its successes over the last seven years.
LVEMP-II is an East African Community project under implementation in the five countries that share the Lake Victoria Basin -‑ Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
It compliments and upscales the LVEMP-I activities which ended in December 2005. He said the task of uprooting the weed within the lake was done with the support of 42 social groups through district councils which were in the project area.
Mr Muyanza said the method of controlling the weed in the lake by using weevils is a sustainable method which is still used now, while uprooting methods was often carried out by social groups and it is an important part of the daily life of a human being.
“Tanzania has done a commendable job to uproot water hyacinth in the Lake Victoria; we thank our donor and social groups who have made this work successful”, he explained.
He said water hyacinth has serious consequences and the government will continue with its earnest control activities by using weevils and community social groups which work within the district councils in the project area so as to ensure that it does not continue to affect the life of the aquatic organisms in the lake.
“If water is covered by water hyacinth, it reduces the level of oxygen that is in the water and causes the aquatic organisms in the water to lack sufficient oxygen and therefore fish will not produce”, he said.
The project coordinator further said that apart from uprooting the water hyacinth, the project has also implemented a total of 316 social projects and 20 major projects aimed at reducing pollution. This has improved the life of the community living around Lake Victoria at the cost of 42.5m/- USD under the World Bank funding.
He cited some of the social projects as diary cattle, tree planting project covering 30,215 acres of trees, bee keeping and the construction of 11 animal biogas plants in Maswa,Meatu and Misungwi districts.
Mr Muyanza said the community had benefited from modern dairy cattle production schemes which are capable of producing 8 to 10 litres per day, 80 pools of modern fish keeping, and it has constructed 111 modern stoves for the alternative energy services that reduce firewood use in the districts of Misungwi, Meatu and Maswa.
“The specific objective of the establishment of this project was to improve the joint management of Lake Victoria basin resources which are in all partnership countries by improving environmental management”, he said.
He noted during the implementation of the phase one of the project, surveys on environmental pollution that caused all big rivers which flow water into the lake, indicated that the catchments of river Simiyu contributes to 42.3 per cent of the total amount of nutrients (mud) estimated to reach 4,075 kg per year.
Mr Muyanza asserted the nutrients were resulted from human activities which ignored environmental conservation within the Simiyu River that covers a total area of 11,577 kilometres.