Item Details

Title: Aquatic biodiversity of Lake Victoria basin

Date Published: 2006
Author/s: Wakwabi, E.O.; Balirwa, J.; Ntiba, M.J.
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Pan African
START Secretariat (
Affiliation: KMFRI, Inland Waters, P O Box 1881, Kisumu, Kenya.
b Director, Fisheries Resources Research Institute,
P. O. Box 343, Jinja, Uganda.
Director, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi
P.O. Box 30197-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya.
Keywords: Lake Victoria basin, Biodiversity, Macroinverterbrates, Aquatic ecosystems, satellite
water bodies, Algal Communities, Phytoplankton, Macrophytes, Invertebrates, Vertebrates


Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, with the largest freshwater fishery in the world. There
are nine main affluent river basins (Sio, Nzoia, Yala, Nyando, Sondu-Miriu, Awach, Kuja, Mara, and
Kagera), and one surface outlet, the River Nile. The basin has extensive wetlands and small water
bodies, which have (or had) a hydrological connection with Lake Victoria and therefore constitute
potential “refugia” for biotic and genetic diversity from the main lake. The biological diversity in these
waters is known to be exceptional both in number of species and in their endemism. While the
ecosystem changes have been documented, causes of these changes remain uncertain due to lack
of basic data on the abundance and diversity of the biota. Through the Lake Victoria Environmental
Management Project (LVEMP), the three riparian states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with
assistance from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the International Development Agency
(IDA) have collectively responded to the issues of ecosystem and resources degradation in the lake

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