Joint mission will head out to Kenya in efforts to save wildlife, create economic opportunities near Africa’s largest lake following major contamination

Itamar Eichner

Israel and Germany on Monday signed a joint letter of intent for a first of its kind joint cooperation effort, with the goal of saving Lake Victoria in Kenya.

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest in the world and is being threatened by a severe ecological disaster.

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Half of the fish species in the huge lake – 410 Kilometers (255 miles) long and 250 kilometers (150 miles) wide, have already become extinct. About 30 million people make their living from the seaweed filled lake that has low oxygen levels.

In the past few years an international effort has tried to find out what went wrong in the lake in order to try and save at least some of the many varieties of flora and fauna that can be found in and around Lake Victoria.

The Israeli-German joint effort will directly and indirectly benefit a number of African states whose economy depends on Lake Victoria, including Egypt.

Lake Victoria is one of the sources of the Nile, which is also suffering from the lake’s ecological disaster. Experts from Israel and Germany will join together through a project agreed upon by the Foreign Ministries of the two countries. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and German Minister for Development Dirk Niebel signed the joint letter of intent.

Lake Victoria’s ecological system was severely damaged following a major contamination and the joint venture is set to work together in the fields of water and Agriculture. The main goal is to prevent a continued deterioration and contamination in the lake while developing and creating sources of income for the weaker segments of the population.

Ayalon said that the lake restoration efforts would be carried out after consultations with the Kenyan government. Israel and Germany agreed that the joint mission would leave for Kenya next month in order to move forward with the project.,7340,L-4021168,00.html