Lake Victoria Maritime Communication
- Reference: P-Z1-GB0-021
- Approval date: 24/10/2016
- Start date: 24/10/2017
- Appraisal Date: 11/10/2015
- Status: ApprovedAPVD
- Implementing Agency: SURFACE AND MARINE TRANSPORT REGULATORY
4.1. Project Components
The proposed project (the Project) consists of three main physical components that are closely interrelated:
(i) improved wireless communication on Lake Victoria, making calls for help possible. This component is based on the existing GSM coverage over the lake.
(ii) a Maritime Rescue Communication Centre (MRCC) capable of receiving and responding to distress calls, locating the victims, mobilizing, controlling and coordinating rescue missions.
(iii) 16 Search and Rescue stations distributed around the lake, equipped with fast rescue boats and trained crews. Each SAR station has a range of up to 60 km, and is capable of providing assistance anywhere within its operating range in a specified time frame. In addition, the Project includes provisions for
(iv) human capital,
(v) strengthening the implementation capacity and
(vi) bridging activities.
Improved communications covering Lake Victoria. This component calls for extending the range of the current GSM system to its technical maximum, using the Extended Range feature. It also includes a full implementation of the network's positioning system, providing accurate location of callers in distress as well as the implementation of a many-to-many communication technology to be used during rescue missions. This is known as Push-to-Talk and is an extension of the GSM technology. It will enable the MRCC to coordinate the activities of several parties during rescue missions. This technology is essential for the success of the project, as stated in the feasibility study. The telecommunication component will be developed in cooperation with existing commercial GSM operators.
Installation of a Maritime Rescue Communication Centre for Lake Victoria. This is the command centre of all rescue missions. Its functionality is based on global models for MRCCs, operating on the high seas around the world. The specifications for the MRCC are based on requirements issued by the International Maritime organization (IMO). The MRCC consists of a Command Centre manned by certified rescue coordinators. In the event of a call for help, the MRCC assumes operative control of all SAR activities for the duration of the event. It has a communication central, and technical equipment capable of receiving distress calls, setting up a communication network for all parties involved in a mission, activating location service and directing SAR resources to the scene of the accident. The MRCC is equipped with an integrated technical resource system. In addition to the SAR activities of the MRCC, it has been proposed that cooperation with the national Meteorology organizations be implemented. This cooperation will enable the MRCC to issue weather alerts for Lake Victoria.
In the final implementation, the Project will have 16 SAR stations distributed around the lake. Each station will be equipped with trained rescue crews, a fast rescue boat, and suitable launching facilities and other infrastructure needed for effective operations. 10 of the SAR stations will be co-located with the facilities of Lake Victoria Fishing Organization. A national SAR organization will be established in each of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Provision of Human Capital: The MRCC established in Mwanza will be the nerve centre of SAR organisations for the lake and is guaranteed to be operational 24/7. In order to sustain this operation; 1 manager, 5 SAR coordinators and 15 operators would be required. Each SAR site would need to have a trained crew of 1 station manager and 5 rescuers. This crew will be alternating between education, safety awareness promotion, community projects, as well as being on standby for SAR operations on a 24/7 basis.
This component of the Project will support the recruitment, training and salaries for the first year during project implementation of competent personnel for the MRCC and SAR stations. Operating budget is expected to be in place and take over the staff salaries after the first year.
Strengthening Implementation Capacity: The objective of this component is to build capacity within LVBC for effective implementation of the Project. The following will be covered under this component: operations of the Steering Committee and Project Implementation Unit (PIT), project coordination, logistics, and specialized consultancies to assist the PIT. Safety awareness campaigns and promoting the use of the Lake Victoria 110 emergency number will be covered under this component.
Bridging Activities: The preparatory phase of the Project has been completed with financial assistance from AfDB. However, there are important activities that need to be undertaken as a bridging phase before securing funds for implementation of the Project. These activities are aimed at mobilizing the required resources for the implementation phase of the Project and include Steering Committee Meetings, operations of the PIT, and analysing investment proposals.
4.2. Implementation Arrangements
The implementation structure, which is already in place, will assist LVBC to manage the Project. The organization includes a Steering Committee (SC) and the Project Implementation Team (PIT). The SC is composed of two (2) nominees from each of the Partner States and its Chairman and Rapporteur are elected in accordance with the EAC rules of procedure.
The PIT is responsible for effective execution and day-to-day management and implementation of the Project, including financial management, procurement, progress reporting and monitoring, and technical oversight of the project implementation activities. PIT is supervised by the Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Projects and Programs, who reports directly to the Executive Secretary of LVBC.
The PIT includes:
(i) the project coordinator, responsible for the coordination and monitoring and evaluation;
(ii) a maritime expert; and
(iii) the LVBC officer-in-charge. PIT will be strengthened with an additional junior assistant in the financial/administrative field.
4.3 Cost Estimates ( Revised in February 2014.
The project's development objectives are:
(i) promote sustainable development of Lake Victoria livelihoods;
(ii) improved safety and security of navigation and the communication infrastructure for the lake.
The project's specific objectives are:
(i) To establish search and rescue organizations comprising 15 SAR stations around the lake,
(ii) To extend the coverage and functionality of communications networks for maritime safety over the entire lake surface, and
(iii) To set up and operationalize the MRCC in Mwanza, Tanzania.
The objectives will be achieved primarily through the development of physical infrastructure, acquisition of equipment, additional strategic human capital, increasing the skills of search & rescue personnel, and capacity building.
Production and income generation is identified as one of the strategic interventions in the EAC Development Strategy 2006-2010. In accordance with the Shared Vision, the sector strategies for this policy area include the improvement of water transport, communication and safety of navigation. The proposed project is designed around these strategies. Improvement of the communications and water transport infrastructure is important for EAC integration. The project is also in harmony with the continental ICT agenda as decided by the 14th African Union Summit held in February 2010. Safe and secure maritime operations will attract investments in lake transport, tourism and water sports. The socio-economic welfare of the communities will be improved through the extended telecommunication coverage, as business will be carried out more efficiently with the available value added services.
The overall objective of this project is to save lives and property lost in sea accidents. On Lake Victoria, many lives are lost every year as a result of marine accidents. Many small fishing vessels are lost at sea as a result of a combination of bad weather, unsafe boats, poor seamanship and lack of safety awareness. With alarming frequency, overloaded passenger boats capsize in bad weather, often with large numbers of fatalities. As a result, it is estimated that about 5,000 people lose their lives on the lake annually due to marine accidents. Major disasters are also frequent on the lake. For example, the passenger vessel MV Bukoba capsized in 1996 with loss of about 500 lives, the wagon ferry MV Kabalega collided with a sister vessel and sank in 2005, cargo vessel MV Nyamageni sank in 2006. More recently, the following incidents have been reported: 18 Tanzanian school children drowned when their vessel flipped in strong winds on August 5, 2010; 28 people feared dead after ferry capsized in bad weather near Entebbe on July 21, 2010.
The aim of this project is to establish a lake-wide Search and Rescue (SAR) organization, capable of providing timely and effective assistance to people in distress at sea. The beneficiaries (target groups) of the proposed SAR organization are the crews of the 70,000 active fishing boats operating on the lake and their immediate and extended families; operators of other commercial and non-commercial vessels; and boat passengers.
In this context, the project is one of the interventions aimed at reducing maritime accidents, saving lives, improving security and bringing efficient and affordable communication to the Lake Victoria communities.
The Bank actively supported EAC in finding funding for the necessary feasibility studies. SIDA of Sweden had financed pervious efforts, but it was no longer willing to continue the support due to internal priority changes. The Bank managed to ascertain NEPAD funding for the detailed feasibility study. The procurement of consultants was made according to Bank rules and the Bank actively monitored the progress of the study and participated in stakeholder meetings. Regular follow-up meetings have been held with the Lake Victoria Commission Secretariat (LVBC). The Bank has also continued soliciting support to the project from other donor organizations, particularly from the South Korea development aid organization. The intervention of the Bank has been requested by LVBC in their Project Proposal: Maritime Communications for Safety on Lake Victoria (MCLSV), Kisumu, Kenya, October 2010. The project falls within the Bank strategy for the East African Community and has very high priority both for saving lives of fishermen on the sea and for stimulating economic development by providing a safer working environment for all lake activities. Once implemented, it will stimulate regional economic activities.
Lake Victoria is the major inland water transport linkage for the five East African Countries, three directly linked by the lake while two also use the lake for transport purposes as well as other countries of the neighborhood region and the related maritime safety and security are of great concern. Beneficiaries will, therefore be: fishermen, commercial shipping companies, fishing industry, LVB communities and people of the EAC at large.
YONAZI Enock - PICU2