Friday, April 19, 2013

Ministers fail to sign joint lakes, river MoU


Updated Saturday, February 16 2013 at 00:00 GMT+3
By Maureen Odiwuor
KENYA: Kenyan ministers were conspicuously missing during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding for the joint Trans-Boundary Management of two lakes and a river with Tanzania.
The team that was engaged in finalising the document was disappointed when ministers from relevant ministries did not turn up at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu.
East African Community Minister Musa Sirma and Minister of Water and Irrigation Charity Ngilu failed to attend the four-day event that culminated into signing of the agreement concerning Lakes Chala, Jipe and River Umba ecosystems.
On behalf of Kenya, the Director of Water Resources John Nyaoro and the Tanzanian PS Ministry of Water Christopher Sayi signed the agreement. Mr Nyaoro said it had taken the two countries over two years to agree on how the water resources would be shared. He said the decision of forming these new collaborative efforts arose after alarming environmental threats on the shared water bodies.
“We had a big challenge with Lake Chala because there was excessive land use in Tanzania which resulted in a lot of sediments being carried to the Kenyan mouth,” he said. He added, “The water bodies play a vital role in wildlife management, of Tsavo West National Park in Kenya and Mkomazi in Tanzania.”
He said Lake Chala found in Taveta is also important in provision of irrigation water for horticulture.
“As a way of promoting tourism, we hope to revive the hotel next to the lake that collapsed,” said Nyaoro.The MOU was drafted by the water resources management ministries from both countries and signed by Attorney Generals from Kenya and Tanzania.


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