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NEWS: Germany’s Lake Victoria ‘right to water’ project

Hans Koeppel

Hans Koeppel

IPP reports that, “(The new Mwanza Sanitation Project in Tanzania) comes as good news following reports of continued environmental degradation of (Lake Victoria) which is the world’s second largest fresh water lake (and Africa’s largest lake by area). …The Lake is a primary source of water for domestic and industrial purposes in a number of towns and cities along its shores including Kampala (Uganda), Kisumu (Kenya) and Mwanza (Tanzania’s second largest city).”

“(The) ambitious project jointly funded by Germany, the European Union and the Government of Tanzania at a cost of (more than CDN$16 million) is expected to reduce 50 per cent Mwanza City’s total pollution contribution to Lake Victoria, cut down environmental degradation of the Lake, protect the quality of drinking water in the fast growing metropolitan and promote sustainable economic development, (says a media officer from the European Union Delegation to Tanzania).”

“(The Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany Hans) Koeppel said that the support was part of German Government initiatives in working towards practical implementation of this right – access to quality water and sanitation. He disclosed that his Government in 2010 was the driving force behind the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council’s recognition of access to drinking water and sanitation as a human right. …According to (the Head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania, Tim Clarke), access to clean water is a fundamental human right and that there can be no human dignity without clean water.”

“The causes of rising pollution levels in Lake Victoria are as many as they are diverse and each of the three East African nations (which depend on the lake) is contributing to the problem. The Air Water and Earth organization says that in Uganda, point sources and non-point sources such as deficient sewage and industrial wastewater plants, small-scale workshops, waste oil from parking lots and car repair garages are major sources of pollution load for the lake. Similarly the Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team of Tanzania points to the increasing pollution from the Mwanza-based factories and mines discharging waste into the lake as another threat to the survival of the water body. LEAT says that waste from fish processing plants, oil processing plants, textile plants, and tanneries is released untreated directly into Lake Victoria. It adds that the lack of a centralized sewage collection system in Mwanza means that domestic waste is also dumped directly into the Lake. In Kenya towns of Kakamega and Kisumu discharge inadequately treated or totally untreated sewage in rivers draining into Lake Victoria because of deficient treatment plants.”

The IPP article is at