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We, the people of East Africa, feel it is time to start reclaiming our culture by renaming our beautiful natural attractions that were once ‘borrowed’ by our colonizers.

We demand that East African Heads of State re-name Lake Victoria effective immediately.

 Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America. In 1858, British explorer John Hanning Speke was the first European to ‘discover’ what was then called Lake Nyanza while on expedition to the find the source of the river Nile. Truth be told, the Lake had no name. The locals referred to it as Nyanza, which translates to ‘lake’ in English. Speke is the reason we call it Lake Victoria.

The lake’s area is divided among three countries: Kenya (6 percent or 4,100 square kilometres or 1,600 square miles), Uganda (45 percent or 31,000 square kilometres or 12,000 square miles), and Tanzania (49 percent or 33,700 square kilometres or 13,000 square miles). It is quite literally, the lake of East Africa.

We demand that the East African Legislative Assembly or the East African Heads of State make a commitment to changing the name of Lake Victoria to Lake Umoja.  Umoja is the Swahili word for ‘Unity’ and what a fitting name that would be a for a body of water that unites us all.