Main informations
Name of Organization
Lake Victoria Basin Commission
Administrative Address

1096, Arusha, Tanzania

+255-27-2504253/8, 2504255
Head of Organization
Tom Okurut Dr.
Year Launched
Total Area
Length of River
Total Population
25million inhabitants
Total Rainfall

Variable from about 800 mm/year in the Eastern part of the catchment to over 2000 mm/year over the Central-Western part of the lake.

Irrigated Agriculture

Little irrigation is executed in the basin but this is increasing with substantial quantities of water diverted from the lake to irrigate flowers.

Rain-Fed Agriculture

The main source of livelihood in the basin for about 80% of the population.

Geographical scope

Lake Victoria Basin

Riparian Countries
Countries Area

The broad functions of the Commission are to promote, facilitate and coordinate activities of different actors towards sustainable development and poverty eradication in the Lake Victoria Basin by harmonization of policies, laws, regulations and standards, and promotion of stakeholders participation in sustainable development of natural resources.

Organizational Structure

As an institution of the East African Community (EAC) and as provided for in the Treaty establishing the Community, the Commission operates within the following organizational structure, the Sectoral Council, Coordination Committee, Sectoral Committees and a Secretariat of the Commission. The Commission Secretariat is run by an Executive Secretary and two Deputy Executive Secretaries. The Headquarters of the Secretariat will be in Kisumu, Kenya.

Organizational Structure for Cooperation

The Sectoral Council comprising of national ministers is the policy making unit of LVBC while the Coordination Committee comprises the corresponding permanent secretaries. Sectoral Committees will be established on demand upon proposal of the Coordination Committee. Members of Sectoral Committees will be senior public officials of the partner states, heads of public institutions, representatives of regional institutions and representatives of business, industry, and civil society. The Secretariat, headed by the Executive Secretary, is a permanent unit to support and assist the Commission’s bodies in coordinating their work and in coordinating with the EAC-Secretariat, the member states, and the donors. The Executive Secretary will be appointed by the Sectoral Council for a period of five years. National Focal Points will be established in all member countries to coordinate the work of national institutions and the LVBC. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission was established as an institution of the EAC. The Sectoral Council should establish links with other Sectoral Councils of the EAC if appropriate. Both the Sectoral Council and the Coordination Committee will hold meetings twice a year.

Management Plans and Action Programs

The plans for the next five years of the 2006 – 2010 Development Strategy is to consolidate achievements already realized, and continue performing the Commission institutional functions. Coordinating and liaising with major stakeholders in the ongoing and new regional projects including Lake Victoria Environmental Project phase II (LVEMP II), Mount Elgon Ecosystem Conservation Project (MERCEP), the safety of Navigation on Lake Victoria and capacity building. A Vision and Strategy document was signed in 2004, which shall be the guiding document in identifying the scope, priorities, and type of activities to be included in the Commission’s work program.

Monitoring and Information Systems

The Secretariat is in charge of disseminating information on the Commission to stakeholders and the international community. The functions of the Secretariat are to establish a regional data base and promote sharing of information, the development of information systems and data exchange; to disseminate information on the Commission to stakeholders and the international community; to mobilize resources for the implementation of projects and programs of the Commission; and to develop a sustainable funding mechanism for facilitating the sustainable development of the basin. Each Partner State shall periodically, at intervals to be determined by the Council, report on measures, which it has taken for the implementation of the provisions of this Protocol and their effectiveness in meeting the objectives of this Protocol.

Rules on Decision-Making and Procedure for Dispute Resolution

Decisions at all levels are taken by consensus. In the event of a dispute between Partner States concerning the interpretation or application of the Protocol, the Partner States concerned shall seek solution by negotiation. If the Partner States do not resolve the dispute by negotiating, either Partner State or the Secretary General of EAC may refer such dispute to the East African Court of Justice in accordance with Articles 28 and 29 of the Treaty. The decision of the East African Court of Justice on any dispute referred to it under this Protocol shall be final. The Sectoral Council promulgates its own rules and procedures of decisionmaking consistent with the Treaty. The Protocol stipulates that, if a conflict between the member states cannot be settled by negotiations, each of the contesting parties or the Secretary General of the EAC can bring the conflicting matter to the East African Court of Justice. Its decisions are final.

Financing of cooperation structures

The sources of funds for the Commission shall be from the East African Community budget, stakeholders’ contributions, development partners, and other such sources as shall be established by the Sectoral Council.

Stakeholder Participation

Stakeholders are represented in the Sectoral Committees (e.g. senior officials of partner states, heads of public institutions, representatives of regional institutions, representatives from sectors covered under this Protocol, business, industry, and civil society). Public participation in planning and decision-making is promoted by the protocol. The Secretariat is required to disseminate information on the Commission to stakeholders and the international community. Projects and Programs are derived through an intensive participatory approach involving the partner states. There has been established “Focal Point Officers” for the Commission in each country who coordinate activities at country level. In addition, Civil Society and Private Sector is effectively being involved as depicted in the Organisation structure.

Historical Record of Cooperation

When the East African Community (EAC) was re-established by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in 1999, the EAC treaty provided for the joint management of transboundary water catchment areas. Lake Victoria has been explicitly mentioned as one of the most important shared natural resources. The basin has been declared as an Economic Growth Zone, and the EAC Secretariat has adopted the Lake Victoria Development Program and established the Committee for Lake Victoria Development. This has been a decisive impulse for establishing the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. The Partnership Agreement (2001) between the EAC and the international donors established long-lasting relationships to promote the sustainable development of the basin. A Partnership Consultative Committee has been entrusted with the implementation of the Partnership Agreement, and a Partnership Fund has been set-up. The EAC created a unit at the EAC-Secretariat and a Policy Advisory Body for implementing the program.

Date Treaty name Signatories
Sustainable Development Protocol