Lake Victoria is Africa's largest lake and the world's second largest. It is also a key resource for the people of East Africa. It has the largest freshwater fisheries producing 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes of fish annually, worth between US$350 and 400 million at the landings and US$250 million in export. Additionally there is an important untapped potential to expand both the tourism and transportation industries across the lake. Approximately 30 million people live along its shores and the lake currently provides employment for three to four million people.
Unfortunately, it is one of the most dangerous waterways in the world. Each year 4,000 to 5,000 people lose their lives on the lake due to drowning, pirate attacks, and accidents. Most of the victims are fishermen who leave behind an average of eight dependents, leading to a hazard that affects over 30,000 people's wellbeing annually. Despite its great economic potential, Lake Victoria lacks the communication, and search and rescue infrastructure necessary for the protection of those who depend on the Lake and the waterway for their livelihood. The project has three key components: Lake Victoria Communications Network, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Search and Rescue (SAR) institution.