The Russian Government and the UN join to fight water hyacinth in Kenya

Boats are trapped by hyacinth in Lake Victoria, on September 11,

KISUMU, Kenya, Oct 28 2019 (IPS-Partners)

A major partnership between The Embassy of Russia, the United
Nations in Kenya and the County Government of Kisumu will see the
over 14,000 hectares of the Water Hyacinth in Lake
Victoria cleared following an injection of USD 7 million by
Russian government.

The partnership programme dubbed: Sustainable Management and
Utilization of Water Hyacinth in Lake Victoria Basin will be
launched today in Kisumu. This programme will be implemented in the
next 3 years.

A variety of activities around the lake have led to large-scale
pollution of the world’s second-largest lake, with one of the
effects being the proliferation of the water hyacinth
(Eichhorniacrassipes) in the bays, especially within Kenya. The
fast-spreading hyacinth is currently estimated to affect over
14,000 hectares of the lake, and though has severe economic

The programme is to be implemented by the Kisumu County
Government with technical support of the UN Kenya Country Team.
Based on their comparative advantage and core-expertise, FAO and
UNDP will deliver together technical support. FAO will handle
sustainable land management and environmental policy aspects while
UNDP will focus on the economic utilization aspects.

The project will seek to attract private sector interest
especially in the converted products from hyacinth, to providing
inputs, equipment, finance, and development of markets. The overall
goal of the programme is to benefit an estimated 4.5 million people
sharing the lake in the five riparian counties of Kisumu, Busia,
Migori. Homa Bay and Siaya.

The programme will focus on initiatives that: Transfer knowledge
and skills to the communities living around the lake region with a
focus on youth and women. The initial focus will be on Kisumu
County and expansion to all counties within the Lake’s catchment
is planned to ensure enough impact.

“This programme is part of the Government of Russia’s
support for Africa’s Sustainable Development, the African
Union’s Agenda 2063, Kenya’s Vision 2030, and Big Four Agenda.
We are looking forward to partner with the Government of Kenya and
UN Kenya Country Team to realize Kenya’s potential in achieving
the UN Sustainable Development Goals” said Russia
Ambassador to Kenya Dmitry Maksimychev

“As the UN Kenya Country Team, we are moving to the next
practical steps after the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held
in Kenya in November last year. I am delighted that UNDP and FAO
will deliver as one UN Kenya’s ground-breaking support to
improving livelihoods of millions of Kenyans living in the Lake
region. Without the strong leadership of the Government of Kenya
and support of the Russian Embassy, this would never have been
possible and I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the
UN Kenya Country Team” said UN Resident Coordinator to
Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee

“My County Government is grateful to its partners who have
come in to help us address the water hyacinth challenges in Lake
Victoria Basin and to smartly turn this challenge around into an
opportunity for economic growth and improved well-being of our
people living in Kisumu and the wider Lake Region” said
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o

“I would like to applaud the Government of Russia and the UN
family in Kenya for launching this new partnership in Kisumu and
for the people of Kenya. This programme is a clear illustration
that our partners are in lock-step with the Big Four development
priorities of the Government of Kenya. As the National Government,
we are committed to supporting this partnership towards a highly
impactful outcome” said Hon Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary of
the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs


About UNDP
UNDP helps countries develop strategies to combat poverty by
expanding access to economic opportunities and resources, linking
poverty programmes with countries’ larger goals and policies, and
ensuring a greater voice for the poor. As the poor are
disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack
of access to clean, affordable water, sanitation, and energy
services, UNDP seeks to address environmental issues in order to
improve developing countries’ abilities to develop sustainably,
increase human development and reduce poverty. UNDP will leverage
on the Kisumu county government efforts on sewage disposal and
ensure current state of sewer leakages from pit latrines do not
continue to affect boreholes (for drinking water) and other
drinking water facilities but also reducing leakages into the lake
and river waters through developing environmental strategic focus
on effective water governance including access to water supply and

About FAO
FAO was created to reduce the number of people suffering from
hunger, eliminate poverty and ensure the sustainable management of
natural resources. FAO is uniquely positioned to draw on an
unparalleled body of knowledge, skills, and experience (both in
country and globally) to support innovative and complex projects.
FAO has developed a handbook on the utilization of aquatic plants
with specific sections on the utilization of water hyacinth. It
will contextualize the local situation and introduce sustainable
land management practices that can combat biological, chemical and
physical land degradation, enhance the use of biodiversity, and
enforce policies and frameworks to control community-based
greenhouse emission levels emanating from poor land management
practices and agricultural chemicals that are harmful


For more information please contact:

Newton Kanhema,
Deputy Director, United Nations Information Centre
Tel: +254-20-7621102/ 0709021102 Email:

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The Russian Government and the UN join to fight water hyacinth in
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The Russian Government and the UN join to fight water hyacinth in Kenya