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August 8, 2022
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Climate change biggest challenge in Lake Victoria basin

Lake Victoria Basin Commission deputy executive secretary Coletha Ruhamya during the opening of the workshop.

Climate change continues to pose a negative impact in the Lake Victoria Basin, commission deputy executive secretary Coletha Ruhamya has said.

She said the basin is witnessing increased variability in rainfall patterns and the mean annual temperature has increased by 10C between 1950 and 2016.

“Extreme climate and weather-driven events such as droughts, prolonged dry periods, erratic rainfall, flooding and strong winds are more common across the basin,” Ruhamya said.

“Crop failures, water scarcity, and livestock deaths due to drought are already common events. These are reversible occurrences.”

Ruhamya spoke in Kigali on Tuesday during a training workshop for journalists and EAC experts from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda.

The training brought together LVB national project coordinators, policy experts and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, national policy experts responsible for transboundary water catchment management and climate change experts.

To reverse the challenges posed by climate change the commission developed a regional flagship project dubbed Adaptation to Climate Change in Lake Victoria.

Funded by the adaptation fund through United Nations Environment Programme, the project will increase climate resilience at regional, national and local levels by supporting concrete adaptation technologies and practices in selected climate hotspots.

However, Kenya lags in the implementation of the project.

So far, Rwanda and Burundi are at 90 per cent in the implementation while Uganda is at 80 per cent and Tanzania is at 70 per cent.

“Making comparisons of what country lies ahead of the other in project implementation is not what matters because countries’ contexts differ,” she said.

“Kenya is making commendable steps to cover the ground towards improved project performances.”

Ruhamya said technical experts, policy advisors, policy-makers, and news reporters, can prevent climate disasters through improved information and knowledge sharing.

She said experts, media actors and LVBC, should make a professional commitment to shifting the media’s focus from climate disasters to climate predictions, adaptations and mitigations.

“Improved collaborations between technical experts and media practitioners, the problematic climatic conditions can be predictable,” Ruhamya

“Accurate climatic predictions can make a huge difference in the prevention of climate disasters in our countries.”

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