July 25, 2015 : Celebration of the National Day of Lake Tanganyika under the theme "Together let’s protect Lake Tanganyika.".
On July 25, 2015, the Secretariat of the Lake Tanganyika Authority (ALT) partnered with the Ministry of Water, Environment, Territory Management and Urban Planning to celebrate the National Day of Lake Tanganyika under the theme "Together let’s protect Lake Tanganyika."
In addition to the staff of the Ministry of Water, Environment, Territory Management and Urban Planning and LTA Secretariat staff, representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, including the General Director of REGIDESO, representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, representatives of Bujumbura Municipality and some residents of Bujumbura City also took part in the ceremony.
The day activities started with the cleaning up of Lake Tanganyika beach. The participants in this work cleaned and picked up waste including plastic bags piled up on the beach between the hotels Club du Lake Tanganyika and Black and White. There was also a lake visit on two boats (one belonging to the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock which was purchased with funds from PRODAP project funded by the African Development Bank and another belonging to REGIDESO) in REGIDESO water catchment center. Finally, there was a guided tour of the wastewater treatment facility at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika. The latter is a phytoremediation system which treats wastewater using bacteria naturally present in the root system of water treatment plants.
The ceremonies were closed by speeches. After the welcome address of the General Secretary of Bujumbura Municipality, the Executive Director of the Lake Tanganyika Authority, Mr Jean-Marie Nibirantije, thanked the Ministry of Water, Environment, Territory Management and Urban Planning, which is working hard to support the LTA in its mission to protect the Lake Tanganyika. He invited the owners of buildings and factories on Lake Tanganyika shores and its tributaries to follow the model of the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika to fight against any kind of pollution of Lake Tanganyika and rivers that flow into it so as not to regret inaction later.
In his speech, the Assistant to Minister of Water, Environment, Territory Management and Urban Planning, Mr Théophile Ndarufatiye thanked all the participants who were there in general and journalists in particular whose voice can reach very far. He also recalled the support of the Ministry he represented to Lake Tanganyika protection, evidenced by the implementation instruments that have been established, including the Water Code. He reminded the factory owners that they must set up sewage treatment systems to avoid polluting the lake, as pollution has already reached an alarming dimension recently. He gave an example of the negative consequences of pollution of Lake Tanganyika: because of this pollution, REGIDESO has been forced to push forward its clean water collection point from 1.8 km to 3.5 km, which causes significant additional costs to the economy. He made it clear that the sanctions provided by the Water Code will be strictly enforced against anyone who is guilty of the Lake pollution.