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East Africa: South Sudan Set to Join Lake Victoria Basin Commission

South Sudan is set to become a party to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), an institution of the East African Community (EAC).

May 28th 2021 · 1 min read
East Africa: South Sudan Set to Join Lake Victoria Basin Commission

Dar es Salaam — South Sudan is set to become a party to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), an institution of the East African Community (EAC).

A bill to the effect has been tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) and is currently awaiting debate and approval.

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill, 2019 is intended to enable South Sudan to be roped into implementation of numerous projects within the basin.

It would also enable the newest member of the EAC to access economic and environmental benefits of the shared lake and its basin.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by Dr. Ali Matano, the executive director of the Kisumu-based regional body.

He said the new legislation was prompted by the entry of Juba into the EAC in 2016, becoming the sixth member of the Community.

So far only five EAC partner states - Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda - are parties to the Commission formed in 2003.

"When the law establishing LVBC (in 2003) was enacted, South Sudan was not a member of the EAC," he told The Citizen.

Like the five EAC states which are parties to the Commission, South Sudan geographically falls within the vast Lake Victoria basin.

The riparian countries sharing the 69,000 square kilometre water body and which founded LVBC are Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

However, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan also fall within the Lake Victoria drainage basin through a network of rivers filling in or pouring out.

LVBC project development officer Ms Hilda Luoga said South Sudan had been skipped from key projects for not being a party to the Commission.

With the new law, South Sudan will be considered "in every project initiative and strategies on curbing climate-induced disasters".

The climate change focal person in the Juba government Payai John said his country needs support from other EAC partner states to stem climatic hazards.

"We need joint efforts with other countries to prevent or reduce the impacts of such disasters," he said.

For instance, he said last year more than 245 people died in his country from floods due to overflowing Lake Victoria.

He added that when his country becomes a member of LVBC, it would be able to access financial and technological resources to tame the disasters like other countries.

last updated: 2021-05-28@02:05