Authored by Brad Czerniak

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.