Lake Victoria Basin Commission

Lake Victoria, Kenya

Lake Victoria Basin Commission

Lake Victoria, Kenya
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Servos M.R.,University of Waterloo | Munkittrick K.R.,University of New Brunswick | Constantin G.,Romanian Ministry of Environment | Mngodo R.,Lake Victoria Basin Commission | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Development | Year: 2013

The International Waters Science Project Lakes Working Group reviewed 58 Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects that addressed serious environmental and human development issues in transboundary lakes. The lessons learned from the review of these projects were integrated with the intention to contribute to the design and success of future projects. Issues that will continue to impact lake ecosystems and their management include changing agricultural practices, resource extraction, emerging contaminants, energy policies, and water allocation. Future lakes projects addressing these issues must also consider the potential confounding effects of changing land use and climate on watershed processes, water quality, food web structure and biodiversity. Current and future scientific challenges include developing strategies for climate adaptation, improving the capacity to detect change and enhancing the application of an ecosystem approach within lakes management. Failure to consider the unique physical and biological features and processes in lakes can be a barrier to effective remediation. The spatial and temporal variability in lakes and their often slow response to remedial actions need to be considered in the design of monitoring programs. Factors that improved the success of GEF transboundary projects included early and strong communication, engagement of stakeholders, rigorous peer review and international science teams linked to local capacity building and policy development. The application of both natural and socio-economic science based assessment, and adaptive management were essential for full project implementation and led to optimization of water resources allocation while sustaining ecosystems on which social and economic systems depend. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Gichuki J.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Omondi R.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Boera P.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Okorut T.,Lake Victoria Basin Commission | And 3 more authors.
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2012

This study, conducted in Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria, assessed ecological succession and dynamic status of water hyacinth. Results show that water hyacinth is the genesis of macrophyte succession. On establishment, water hyacinth mats are first invaded by native emergent macrophytes, Ipomoea aquatica Forsk., and Enydra fluctuans Lour., during early stages of succession. This is followed by hippo grass Vossia cuspidata (Roxb.) Griff. in mid- and late stages whose population peaks during climax stages of succession with concomitant decrease in water hyacinth biomass. Hippo grass depends on water hyacinth for buoyancy, anchorage, and nutrients. The study concludes that macrophyte succession alters aquatic biodiversity and that, since water hyacinth infestation and attendant succession are a symptom of broader watershed management and pollution problems, aquatic macrophyte control should include reduction of nutrient loads and implementing multifaceted approach that incorporates biological agents, mechanical/manual control with utilization of harvested weed for cottage industry by local communities. Copyright 2012 John Gichuki et al.

Ofulla A.V.O.,Maseno University | Karanja D.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Omondi R.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Okurut T.,Lake Victoria Basin Commission | And 5 more authors.
Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management | Year: 2010

This study was conducted from September to December 2008 to investigate the relative abundance of malaria vectors and schistosomiasis host snails associated with aquatic weeds in Nyanza Gulf (Lake Victoria). Larval and adult's stages of mosquitoes, lakeflies and snails were collected and identified with standard entomological and malacological techniques. The relative species composition and abundance of fish associated with macrophytes were also determined. Physico-chemical parameters were determined with standard analytical methods. Community-based surveys were also conducted, using standard questionnaires, focused group discussions and direct observations. The results of this study indicated that the abundance of malaria-causing mosquitoes was low, accounting for only 0.4% of the total number of mosquitoes and lake flies collected from the gulf. Lake flies (Chaoborus and Chironomus spp.) were the most abundant flying insects associated with aquatic macrophytes (84.2%), followed by Culicines Culex spp. (12.2%) and Aedes spp. mosquitoes (3.2%). Biomphalaria sudanica and Bulinus africanus, the two most common hosts for schistosomiasis in the gulf, were detected in both types of macrophytes, but were most significantly attached to water hyacinth (P < 0.0001) and hippo grass (P = 0.0003). There were significantly fewer snails attached to the hippo grass, compared with those unattached in the open water (P < 0.05, GENMOD). Different habitats exhibited low Secchi disc transparency values, but elevated total phosphorous (TP), total nitrogen (TN), chlorophyll-a concentrations, as well as algal cell counts. Furthermore, Oreochromis niloticus and Haplochromine fishes were more abundant in water hyacinth mats compared with hippo grass mats and open-water habitats. The low mosquito abundance indicated that the sampled habitats were unsuitable for mosquito breeding, likely attributable to water turbulence and/or predation by larvivorous fish. The strong association between B. sudanica and B. africanus and aquatic macrophytes, and the observation that local communities perform many lakeshore-related activities that bring them into contact with water, can potentially lead to a higher prevalence of schistosomiasis in the Nyanza Gulf region. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Ofulla A.V.,Maseno University | Adoka S.O.,Maseno University | Anyona D.N.,Maseno University | Abuom P.O.,Maseno University | And 7 more authors.
Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management | Year: 2013

Intermediate host snails of schistosomiasis were surveyed in this study to determine their abundance and distribution in the lake and land aquatic habitats of Lake Victoria basin of Kenya. Several sites were sampled at eight locations, both in the lake and on the land. The habitat and/or vegetation type (i.e. open water, hippo grass, hyacinth, ambatch trees, other vegetation, stream, swamp, pond, dam) of the sampled aquatic sites within the locations were also differentiated, water physicochemical parameters were determined, and the abundance of different species or taxa of phytoplankton and zooplankton were enumerated and correlated with the abundance of schistosomiasis snails in the sites. The results indicated significantly more Biomphalaria sudanica snails than Bulinus africanus snails in different physical habitats on land (Student's t-test, P < 0.05), as well as in different locations on land (Student's t-test, P = 0.026). Regression analyses revealed that several physicochemical parameters, including dissolved oxygen (R2 = -0.659; n = 8; P = 0.014), pH (R2 = 0.728; n = 8; P = 0.007) and turbulence (R2 = -0.616; n = 8; P = 0.02), were predictive of Biomphalaria spp. abundance, while pH (R2= 0.610; n = 8; P = 0.02) and turbulence (R2= -0.578; n = 8; P = 0.028) were predictive of Bulinus spp. abundance in different locations in the lake. Cyanobacteria (R2= 0.638; n = 8; P = 0.02) and chlorophyceae (R2 = -0.50; n = 8; P = 0.05) were shown to be predictive of both Biomphalaria spp. and Bulinus spp. abundance in different locations in the lake. Zooplankton abundance varied significantly between different locations in the lake (One-way anova, P < 0.001). Bosmina spp. were found to be predictive of both Biomphalaria spp. (R2= -0.627; n = 8; P = 0.01) and Bulinus spp. (R2= -0.50; n = 8; P = 0.05) in different locations in the lake. The results from this study will help inform policy regarding control measures for schistosomias and intermediate snail hosts in Lake Victoria waters, as well as in adjacent terrestrial aquatic habitats and even beyond. © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

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