Regional Lake Victoria Environment Report Water Quality and Ecosystems Component Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project CHAPTER 2 Capacity Building: Training, Infrastructure, Equipment and Monitoring Programmes for Conservation of Lake Victoria

J Okungu, D Rutagemwa, M Ssenfuma-Nsubuga, J Abuodha, F Mwanuzi, F Muyodi, R Hecky
Training programs were designed to provide scientists with strengths in applied limnology, monitoring and the environment. In addition, the training provided scientists with a firm background in data analysis, interpretation and synthesis procedures, including statistics, numerical analysis, programming and conceptual modelling methods. Most hydrologists and water chemists in public and private employment were educated in a tradition that emphasized qualitative schooling, and this project
more » ... ore has managed to train a new type of scientist who can apply quantitative methods to their research, monitoring or operational undertakings. The scientists also benefited from adequate training in computer analytical techniques, most notable in the area of model applications, graphics; including mapping, contour plotting, remote sensing interpretation, GIS; and interpretation of water quality data. The scientists obtained both practical and theoretical knowledge, thus they are now able to integrate and apply a number of scientific disciplines to problems of relating to the water quality monitoring of the lake and its ecosystem, in addition to environmental management and conservation of the catchment. By participating in high level courses in addition to computer training and fieldwork, the scientists have now acquired an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of limnology and water quality monitoring. The scientists of this programme are now well-grounded field Regional Lake Victoria Environment Report Water Quality and Ecosystems Component Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project 10 specialists, who apart from their high specialization in water related issues appreciate the exigencies of other related disciplines. Their specializations within an inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary framework have resulted in versatile international scholars prepared with knowledge, awareness and skills to assess and solve pertinent environmental issues and problems afflicting the lake. Apart from training, elaborate infrastructure for water quality monitoring has been established in the region. In Kisumu, Mwanza, Bukoba and Musoma laboratories were rehabilitated and equipped, whereas the Entebbe laboratory was equipped with more sophisticated equipment. There is now a regional network for data collection in the inshore and offshore areas in addition to establishment of a precipitation network. Monitoring programs have involved placement and utilization of the harmonized monitoring network. Quality control and quality assurance mechanisms are now practiced and coordinated among the three countries. LVEMP has put emphasis on establishment of internal and regional quality assurance mechanisms, enhancement of laboratory performances and efficiency, and data generation and management. Although research vessels were obtained from each country's fisheries research institute, this arrangement was not efficient since the vessels were obtained only at their discretion and convenience. It is recommended that this component acquire its own vessel dedicated to water quality research to guarantee effective implementation of the monitoring program in the future.