Published: 22 March 2018
As the ten Nile Riparian Countries were celebrating the 12th Regional Nile Day on 22nd February 2018 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, the DR Congo National Discourse Forum (DRCNDF) was holding a one day conference in Butembo city that focused on management of Lake Edward.
The THEME of the 2018 Regional Nile Day was "The Nile: Shared River, Collective Action.” On the side of DR Congo National Discourse Form (DRCNDF) the day was dedicated to the sub-theme entitled “Management of Lake Edward: Challenges and Opportunities”.
With 42 participants, 11 of them being women; drawn from DRCNDF members, the media, academicians, stakeholders, and the general public attended the conference.
Dr. Malikwisha Meni who is also the Secretary General of DRC-NDF called upon both Uganda and DR Congo to safeguard the lake in order to maximize opportunities for the benefit of both countries.
In his presentation, he highlighted that Lake Edward contains potential resources such as fish, salt, and minerals that should be the source of income for the Lake communities.
Lake Edward covers 2240 km2 located between DR Congo and Uganda with very important tributaries from KYAVIRIMU mountain located at the west of the lake. However the lake faces threats such as illegal fishing and water pollution from surrounding communities.
The formal fishing activities in the lake started with the creation of COPILE (Coopérative des Pêcheurs Indigènes du Lac Edouard) in 1949. This was replaced by COPEVI 1979. However the insecurity and lack of control has prompted the illegal fishing in the lake.