Who owns our natural resources? Whyrepparttar people are so poor and desperate in rich Lake Victoria Basin

Lake Victoria (Nyanza as called by local people) isrepparttar 110138 second biggest Lake inrepparttar 110139 world andrepparttar 110140 father to Egyptian riches, 40 years ago it had over 320 old fish species; now it possesses only eight species1 Itís basin is potentiallyrepparttar 110141 riches region in East Africa and occupied by so poor people, itís environment in such deep criss1 Why?

The Lakeís resource wealth is further increased byrepparttar 110142 fact that its soils are amongrepparttar 110143 most fertile in East Africa. The varied and rich cultures of its peoples, its breath taking scenery and abundant wildlife andrepparttar 110144 thorough vastness ofrepparttar 110145 Lake make it potentially a prime tourism destination.

Factor in regionís capacity for agricultural variety output, industry, hydro- electricity,repparttar 110146 gold and other mineral deposit in such places as Tarime, Serengeti, Musoma, Geita and Kahama in Tanzania, and Macalder in Kenya. And again, you are looking atrepparttar 110147 richest region in East Africa. Yet, The people of this great Lake;repparttar 110148 Luo, sukuma, Haya, Baganda etc. are amongrepparttar 110149 poorest inrepparttar 110150 world. Official statistics put poverty level at an average of 49% of East African population. Malnutrition is wider spread, high child mortality, protein deficiency in this protein rich Zone. Add to this,repparttar 110151 economy, social and environmental cost ofrepparttar 110152 deadly HIV/AIDS, whose incidence inrepparttar 110153 Lake world and a stern picture begins to look very sad.

There are many activities taking place daily in and aroundrepparttar 110154 lake: agriculture, Fishing, Irrigation, Mining etc. But all in vain! The people remain poor amid all riches; they are yet to enjoyrepparttar 110155 fruits of being granted with this golden prize. Most are blaming their governments for not implementing effective strategies towardsrepparttar 110156 basin development.

Waste inrepparttar 110157 Lake Victoria basin is a two-way highway. *Flowing down intorepparttar 110158 Lake isrepparttar 110159 waste and high population generated upstream and taken through by twenty big feeder rivers (10 in Kenya, 6 in Tanzania and 4 in Uganda). All these and other smaller ones drain their contents intorepparttar 110160 Lake, taking with themrepparttar 110161 same severe disease. Untreated sewage from municipalities, rural towns and village, toxic effluent from industries and sediments (which is carried in huge tonnage daily)

All East African countries arerepparttar 110162 major contributor torepparttar 110163 lake pollution but are doingrepparttar 110164 least about it. Because of lack of sewer, treatment works; largely unregulated agro industries dump untreated effluent intorepparttar 110165 rivers or direct intorepparttar 110166 Lake. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers find their way intorepparttar 110167 Lake without forgettingrepparttar 110168 entire weight of villageís waste, which also rolls down intorepparttar 110169 rivers ending their journey into our precious Lake. And to crown it all,repparttar 110170 water fromrepparttar 110171 lakes is used directly for-domestic consumption.

The fish species have disappeared due torepparttar 110172 quality of water inrepparttar 110173 Lake and aroundrepparttar 110174 shoreline, where most ofrepparttar 110175 Fish would breed inrepparttar 110176 littoral zone. The water hyacinth, which was first noticed inrepparttar 110177 late 1980ís, has also been a big threat. Andrepparttar 110178 other reason isrepparttar 110179 introduction ofrepparttar 110180 Nile Perch (the vocacious carnivore).

*Leavingrepparttar 110181 basin, flowsrepparttar 110182 regions wealth; for all of itís problems, however,repparttar 110183 lake basin also contains immerse natural wealth. It sustainsrepparttar 110184 largest fresh water fisheries inrepparttar 110185 world. Itís waters are rich fishing grounds, so rich in fact thatrepparttar 110186 agents of various foreign owned fish processing companies riding daily in fleets with truckloads ofrepparttar 110187 lakes wealth. Landing points are always overcrowded with incoming trucks, leaving contented. On each departure, their trucks are taken withrepparttar 110188 lakes harvest, belching smokes and fumes of dead fish. Ofrepparttar 110189 huge tonnage fromrepparttar 110190 points around,repparttar 110191 local residents are left withrepparttar 110192 dried skeletons of processed fish for their meals; eating fish byrepparttar 110193 lake is luxury! There is a lot of money going out leavingrepparttar 110194 fishermen poor; they sell their catch at throwaway prices because they cannot store it. (Their prices go as down as USD 0.25 per Kg which fetches USD 6 in Nairobi/Mwanza markets after being processed into fillet and at least fetches twice onrepparttar 110195 international markets).

The regions challenges are enormous; waste and poverty make awful bed fellows and have spawned and evil child; debilitating culture of dependency. Such altitudes indicaterepparttar 110196 extent to which many feel that they have lost out a stake in managing their own resource. Poor Lake Victoriaí you are no longerrepparttar 110197 PEAR OF AFRICA.


Written by ARTHUR ZULU


Author: Arthur Zulu Contact Author: mailto: Copyright: Copyright © Arthur Zulu 2002 Word Count: 632 Web Address:

Publishing Guidelines: Permission is granted to publish this article electronically or in print as long asrepparttar bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.


By Arthur Zulu

Man is a very clever animal. For example, he isrepparttar 110137 only one who knows thatrepparttar 110138 world will end someday, and worries about it. And he isrepparttar 110139 only creature that can create anything out of a useless thing like ice.

Now, letís imagine ourselves in a man-made ice theater-- floor, roof, and all. We are sitting on chairs made of ice; drinking beer from glasses (made of ice of course), and we are about to watch a play.

What isrepparttar 110140 play about? The actor, (of course flesh and blood) is going to enter into a mighty cooking pot made of ice. Then he will be covered; andrepparttar 110141 giant ice cooking pot, suspended by equally giant tripods (made of ice too), is to be heated by a gigantic fire.

As werepparttar 110142 spectators watch to see what happens torepparttar 110143 actor, we observe that first,repparttar 110144 iced floor begins to crack as a result ofrepparttar 110145 fire. Thenrepparttar 110146 pot begins to melt, and before we know it,repparttar 110147 ice-made glasses on our hands, also begin to melt as a result ofrepparttar 110148 heat.

Suddenly,repparttar 110149 roof ofrepparttar 110150 heated ice theater begins to give way and collapse on our heads, and before long, we find ourselves swimming in an ocean of water. So, werepparttar 110151 spectators become actors; and birds and all sorts of flying things, becomerepparttar 110152 spectators!

But wait. This is not a play. It is real, and very soon where once used to be our houses, might well become an ocean, and we all will be swimming for our lives! And if you live in a coastal city, say New York, London, or Cape Town; you had better start making your ark for another Noahís flood. But how, you may ask, will this come about?

Overrepparttar 110153 decades, man has turned uprepparttar 110154 global thermostat throughrepparttar 110155 emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. This has caused climatic upheavals (heavy rain, drought, superkiller winds), and health hazard (skin cancer).

It has even been speculated thatrepparttar 110156 warming trend could bring aboutrepparttar 110157 opposite -- global freeze. It happened before in Europe atrepparttar 110158 end ofrepparttar 110159 Ice Age when a natural warming initiated a phenomenon that shut uprepparttar 110160 Gulf Stream. Suppose it happens again, and throws us into a deep freeze for say, 2000 years (the previous one in Europe lasted 1,300 years).

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