Anthropogenic pressures pushed the once productive waters of Winam Gulf, in the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria, into a degraded system dominated by nuisance macrophytes (water hyacinths) and blue green algae blooms, affecting water intake, lake transport and logistics, fisheries, hydropower production and tourism. Various donor-driven approaches taken in the past decades to remove water hyacinth were only effective for a limited period of time. A recent approach aims to make the large-scale harvesting of water hyacinths attractive to local actors by processing them into biofuels creating profit, jobs, clean fuel and improved fisheries conditions. This paper uses concepts of multilevel and multifactor governance to analyse the functioning of this approach. Important factors found are the fact that returns are realized for all relevant actors, that actors commit to long-term involvement for joint learning, and the coordination between the local governance structure and an overarching national governance structure for knowledge sharing, replication and up-scaling elsewhere in Lake Victoria basin.
Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) Baseline Study
The Health of People & Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) is a 3-year project in rural areas of the Lake Victoria Basin in Uganda and Kenya that aims to provide underserved families and communities with knowledge and skills to improve reproductive health, reduce levels of poverty through livelihoods_and sustainably manage local natural resources. In 2012, HoPE-LVB conducted a baseline study to inform project design and determine baseline values for key outcome indicators.
Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Project (LVWATSAN)
Lake Victoria Basin covers an area of 250,000 km2 with the lake taking 68,000 km2. The basin has a population of 35 - 40 million people, with rapidly growing secondary towns, which has resulted in unplanned, sponteneous and unsustainable growth, run-down and non-existent basic infrastructure and services and significant negative impacts on the environment and fragile ecosystem of the lake.
Integrated Action for Conservation of Dunga Kajulu Ecosystems through Enterprise Development
Kajulu and Nyando (both upstream) and Dunga (downstream) wetlands are located in Kisumu County. Upstream land is largely privately owned and mainly used for agriculture, energy needs and water. Deforestation and water diversion upstream worsen soil loss, leading to siltation and agro-chemical deposits downstream, which then leads to eutrophication of wetland ecosystems, reduced rainfall and reduced water flow to downstream swamps. All of this combines to cause a loss of wetland biodiversity, low crop output hence worsening food insecurity situation.
Ecological Risks of Net Pen Aquaculture in North American and African Great Lakes: Can BMPs Be Shared?
A recent expert review of the ecological risks of net pen aquaculture in the North American Great Lakes made a number of recommendations for Best Management Practices (BMPs) that should be applied to establishment of net pen farms. Based on that_study, researchers identified nine generic BMPs that could be applied to all Global Great Lakes.
Fishing with Impunity: Failure of Beach Management Units in Lake Victoria, Kenya
The research effort_looks at the trends in fishing effort and landings from 2000 to 2014 in relation to the performance of the Beach Management Units (BMUs) since they were put in place. Having conducted a survey on the performance of the BMUs, researchers notice that the BMUs have rules and regulations that have been put in place. Respondents identified critical habitats that are presented in this research, some of which have since been demarcated. Results show that BMUs know critical habitats and identify them as areas where fish breed (97%).
Earth System Model Predictions of Climate and Environmental Changes in Great Lakes Watersheds to the Year 2100
Earth system models are the only scientific tools yet developed that are capable of integrating the multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that determine past, present and future climate. Researchers here use the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to generate depictions of environmental futures under climate change specifically to serve stakeholder needs for each of the major Great Lake watersheds.
Climate Change, Agriculture and Sustainability of the East African Great Lakes
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) predicts by the end of this century ~1 4 degrees_C warming and an uncertain trend in future rainfall in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, perhaps 10% lower than present in the Malawi/Nyassa basin and 10% higher in the lake basins to the north. Radar altimetry records of lake level trends available since 1992 display decadal scale variability of 1-2 m, with an overall trend in the last decade towards lower levels in Lakes Malawi/Nyassa and Rukwa, and higher levels in the lakes to the north of Rukwa.
Challenges and Benefits to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Rapidly Expanding Cage Aquaculture in Lake Victoria
In the face of stagnating wild fisheries in Lake Victoria and a rapidly growing human population, aquaculture may improve food and livelihood security in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Very recently, cages for farming the introduced Nile tilapia have been popping up on the lake at a rapid rate. While cage culture could provide food and income, there are many pressing questions: What will be the physical impact of cages on the lake's limnology? Will there be adverse effects for wild populations?
Can Fisheries Management in the Great Lakes of Africa Contribute to Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development accepts the formidable challenge of integrating historically siloed, economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. While small-scale fisheries in marine systems were given their target as part of SDG14: Life below water, at first sight the SDGs appear to ignore inland fisheries.