Programs need to be highlighted if the region is to develop
Poor reporting and misrepresentation of facts on activities by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) by the media is to blame for the escalating destruction of resources and poverty levels in the region.
Experts argue that there are many activities taking place around the region but are not captured comprehensively, to sensitize the citizens, thus affecting programs meant to improve people's livelihoods and promote development.
They argue that on many projects and activities are carried out in areas of Population, Health and Environment (PHE) but are not highlighted, given the manner in which they are presented in the media.
This was revealed during a regional media training in Entebbe over the weekend, focusing on article 71(1) of the treaty for the establishment of EAC which endows the EAC secretariat and its organs and institutions responsibility on promoting and dissemination information to the stakeholders.
The LVBC executive secretary, Ally Said Matano, said these programs need to be highlighted if the region is to develop.
"Without addressing people's challenges in conflict areas, we can never develop. We need to promote these programs to build cohesion. These programs must be highlighted with their success stories for other people to adapt and benefit from them," he noted.
The EAC is made up of six countries including; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
LVBC's mandate is to promote, facilitate and coordinate activities of the different actors towards sustainable development and poverty eradication with the Lake Victoria basin.
Matano said media influences policies and programming as it brings out salient issues for public discussions.
"We are here to create a regional LVBC- PHE media network for sharing current and emerging information and knowledge on PHE," he explained.
The PHE regional coordinator, Doreen Othero outlined the benefits and uniqueness of the PHE approaches which included conservation through public health and the integration of the population and environment towards economic development.
Stephen Rubanga the field coordinator conservation through Public Health highlighted the conversation approach with the use of village health and conservation teams, as a way of helping locals living in the game parks without killing nature.