Jipe Project

Lake Jipe Project

Lake Jipe is an inter-territorial lake straddling the borders of Tanzania and Kenya. On the Tanzanian side, it is situated within Mwanga District, in Kilimanjaro Region while on the Kenyan side, it is located south of the village of Nghonji. The lake is fed mainly by the Lumi River, which descends from Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as streams from the North Pare Mountains (Tanzanian side).

The lake has lost about 50% of its water mass within the last 10 years, due to siltation caused by destruction of the water catchment and farmlands, proliferation of the typha weed, and diversion of fresh water recharge from river Lumi. The lake has increasing salinity, decreasing depth and biodiversity. Hippos and crocodiles have migrated upstream due to salinity. The lake is of global importance not only for the local communities, but also for the whole world as it is the only place where the fish Oreochromis jipe is found, and which is on the verge of extinction. In a joint effort to salvage the situation, the UNDP GEFSGP and the Biodiversity Conservation Programme (BCP) of the European Union did commit US$ 416,000 for the rehabilitation of the lake in 2008. The project managed to achieve some of its goals, but was stopped before its full implementation because of resources disputes between communities and budget misuse.

  • 1. Site wide baseline data collection and an EIA will preceed implementation of rehabilitation projects.
  • 2. De-siltation and restoration of the original course of river Lumi.
  • 3. Removal of illegal water abstraction canals.
  • 4. Rehabilitation of an existing water project to provide drinking water to the community.
  • 5. Introducing agro-forestry.
  • 6. Fish farming - raising endemic and other fish species in ponds.
  • 7. Capacity building for sustainable fishing including right size of nets.
  • 8. Protection of Njoro Springs.
  • 9. Bringing the communities from both sides of the boundary to hold consultations to reduce conflict.