European Union (EU) on Thursday announced to have pumped in 85 million Euros (99.7 million U.S. dollars) to support the implementation of various projects in the East African Community (EAC) including bolstering fishing industry and fish farming training projects in Lake Victoria.
Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, EAC Secretary General, told journalists here that the fund will also be spent to provide education to the residents within EAC on aquaculture and assist them in establishing fish farming projects in the lake, which is being shared by Tanzania, Kenyan and Uganda.
According to Mfumukeko, 10 million Euros will be used for the project which is geared towards increasing the number of fish in Africa’s largest lake following the increased demand for fish in the region.
He said that most of the funds will be spent on socio-economic projects, adding: “The demand for fish in East African countries has been increasing annually contrary to its availability. The number of people involved in fishing activities in our community has also increased hence the need for strategies on how to increase its stock remain important.”
Roland van de Geer, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania, said: “Our aim is to empower the people of EAC to graduate from poverty by generating income from the available resources.”
He said the EU is ready to provide technical support to local experts to be able to assist farmers in implementing aquaculture projects. He said the move will help countries to save money that is spent to import fish from overseas.
In recent decades, Lake Victoria is overwhelmed with illegal fishing, which disrupts the fishing industry in the region.
In March this year, the Council of Ministers in the Lake Victoria Fishing Organization (LVFO) has approved a total 1.8 million U.S. dollars to curb illegal fishing in the second largest freshwater body in the world.
Each member country of the organization including Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda will contribute 600,000 U.S. dollars to curb illegal fishing of the Nile perch, which is on the verge of extinction due to rampant illegal fishing in the lake. Enditem