The rapidly growing urban centres in the Lake Victoria basin are playing an increasingly important role in the economic development of the region. But most of these towns are experiencing unplanned, spontaneous growth. The run-down and often non-existent basic infrastructure and services in most of them poses a major threat to their sustainability.
The poor people of these urban and peri-urban areas are the most affected. Official statistics are often misleading and do not reveal the true extent of the problem. The unplanned urban development and intense pressure on basic infrastructure have had a significant negative impact on living conditions, the natural environment, and the fragile ecosystem of the Lake.