Environmentalists and activists warned that Lake Tanganyika’s ecosystem is threatened by increased pollution and illegal fishing activities that may result into the extinct of some species.
Biraturaba association that set to preserve environment bemoans Lake Tanganyika’s suffering from the excessive sediment and nutrient loads caused by erosion in the watershed, industrial and municipal waste.
The association said that inappropriate fishing methods and Human activities (constructions, inadequate agricultural practices, etc.) in the littoral zone of the lake destroy the buffer zones which also serve as spawning grounds for fish.
“Fish species threatened by pollution in coastal and pelagic areas. Moreover, Lake Tanganyika as an important source of freshwater, the inhabitants who consume this polluted water periodically experience cases of diseases such as cholera,” said Emmanuel Nintunze the national Coordinator of the association.
2018 plastic ban
The 2018, 8th August decree was aiming to prohibit the use of plastic bags to prevent any kind of pollution but granted a special exemption to industries that use plastic bottles as packing and bottling of their products in Burundi.
According to the 5th chapter of decree number 100/099, “Plastic waste including plastic bottles and flasks are returned to supplier industries who provide their storage, recycling or recovery.”
Plastic materials which are benefiting from that very exemption are biodegradable plastic bags and sachets, plastic materials used in medical services, plastic materials used in industrial and pharmaceutical packaging, plastic materials used in industrial construction, sewer pipes, manufacture of tents; plastic materials used in research laboratories, used in education as didactic materials.
Emmanuel Nintunze National coordinator of Biratura said that there should be the raising awareness campaigns in order to protect the ecosystem of the lake.
“To preserve the lake all actors should be taught how to develop a common vision for the management of the lake, educate the habitants to adopt sustainable hygiene and sanitation measures, to develop community projects supply, to develop alternative activities to protect the lake, to develop waste stage and sewage projects in the riparian towns,” said Mr. Nintunze.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that plastic production has exploded from 2 million tons in 1950 to 460 million tons in 2019 generating 353 million tons of waste, of which less than 10% is currently recycled and 22% is abandoned in wild dumps, burned to the sky opened or released into the environment.
It should be noted that the UN Ocean Conference held on July 1st urged leaders and relevant sectors to boost ambition, mobilize partnerships and increase investment in science-driven and innovative approaches to reserve the decline of the ocean health.