Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater body in the world. Over the last four decades, however, the lake has faced a number of environmental problems including pollution, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction and soil erosion. It is estimated that the lake 's indigenous fish species have been reduced by 80% and over 70% of the forest cover in the catchment area has been lost. In addition, the water quality in the rivers flowing into the lake continues to carry increasing amounts of silt and nutrients. Through a number of environmental education programmes in schools and communities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that border the lake, WWF is working with school children, teachers and village leaders to encourage participation in environmental management and conservation of the lake and its surrounding area.
Objectives of this programme are to help secure ecological integrity and sustainability of Lake Victoria and its biological diversity and to improve socio-economic well being of the local inhabitants of Lake Victoria and its biological diversity. The project aims to help stop the degradation of the natural environment and build a future in which riparian communities will live in harmony with nature in the Lake Victoria region.
The Lake Victoria Catchment Environmental Education Programme is currently the only programme in the region targeting the lake through environmental education. The programme uses existing government structures, which allows the participation of multiple stakeholder groups. The programme has trained key stakeholders from the Musoma and Tarime districts on environmental education. The stakeholders include teacher trainers, teachers, community leaders from environmental committees as well as village members.