Lake Victoria – The Paradox of Water Use and Abuse.

Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh-water body in the world and a water resource shared by three East African countries, is an enormous water resource facing collective mis-management on several levels. Lake Victoria is under considerable pollution pressures causing softly and steadily killing of its bio-diversity in addition to a real risk for drying-up from “global warming”.

An example is Jinja town, population of 300 000 people, that is rising after so many years of decline to claim the glory it lost so many years ago. However, the time is running out not only for the town and its population but for the whole water body of Lake Victoria. There is an accelerating pollution, abuse of environment and water resources due to limited access to waste and solid-waste treatment from industry, agriculture, household, rubbish damp and sanitation. Many industrial (more than 70 factories in Jinja only with high pollution incidents) , agricultural, household activities are releasing huge amounts of waste and pollutants to Lake Victoria.

The fishing, transport of people and goods to the main land and other public services suffer from random management, fragmented policies, and lack of collective protection and management actions. Fish population is declining as consequence of the damage the food-web dynamics of the lake and the natural functioning and metabolism in the lake because of heavy loads of nutrients, pollutants and siltation. Over-fishing of  the so-called “fish-of-choice” a small fish lower down in the food-web that is destroying the natural balance of the food-web and causing the collapse of the overall fish-population dynamics.

Poor infra-structures and water drainage systems from forest, agriculture, household and sanitation along with erosion and re-suspension of sediments due to man-made and animal activities are causing excess delivery of nutrients, accelerating “eutrophication” and decreasing levels of oxygen and thereby death and increasing prices of fish. The degradation of water quality will, also, force gradual and rapid increase in the proces of clean water.

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