Besides my passion for agriculture and the environment, I am also studying International Relations (IR). As an IR student, one studies a lot about international organizations and their role in shaping the international relations. It is in this context that our class went out on a visit to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC).

Lake Victoria Basin Commission was established under the protocol for sustainable development of 2003. It was ratified in 2007 and it currently has a membership of five states; Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It is mandated to promote sustainable development in the lake basin region. It promotes, facilitates and coordinates activities that are geared towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The main objectives upon which the LVBC is premised are;

  1. To promote measures aimed at poverty alleviation.
  2. To promote equitable economic growth
  3. To promote sustainable utilization and management of natural resources
  4. To promote protection of the environment within the basin
  5. To promote compliance to safety of Navigation.

In carrying out its mandate, the LVBC faces some challenges; the projects development officer we talked to enumerated declining water lake levels, poor water quality, the water hyacinth, reduced fish and deforestation as some of the challenges the LVBC faces. However, it has had opportunities such as maintaining biodiversity, fisheries and encouragement of smart agriculture along the shores.

Thanks to my studies, we have visited and learnt about many institutions like this. We learn about their mandate, mission, objectives and contributions in shaping both regional and international relations. These institutions play a central role in peace building and creating conducive conditions for other players in the economies to thrive – including us farmers.