Marshes, Naivasha and Nakuru lakes in danger

Workers from one of the hotels near Lake Naivasha erect illegal structures /GEORGE MURAGE
Workers from one of the hotels near Lake Naivasha erect illegal structures /GEORGE MURAGE

Lakes Nakuri and Naivasha and their wetlands are drying up and being polluted by human construction,

abstracting water and dumping raw sewage.

This emerged yesterday when the National Environmental Complaints Committee visited Lake Naivasa, following complaints about illegal encroachment on riparian land.

The committee expressed alarm.

Committee secretary John Chumo told reporters, “Lake Naivasha is facing challenges of pollution and water abstraction from nearby farms while effluent from River Njoro are finding their way into Lake Nakuru,” he said.

The lake areas contain some of the country’s major wetlands.

“Wetlands occupy around six per cent of the land mass and if no action is taken to restore and safeguard them, the country will suffer from water scarcity in future,” Chumo said.

Committee members bserved illegal human activities around Lake Naivasha, including digging canals and building permanent structures.

Chairman of the Lake Naivasa boat owners association David Kilo said, “Sewerage from Naivasha is flowing into the lake, some investors are illegally digging canals to draw water and while some hoteliers are constructing permanent structures.”

Kilo said blocking animal migration corridors has caused more human-wildlife conflicts. He said hippos attacking fishermen daily.

Chumo said Kenya has good environmental regulations to deal with pollution and encorachment but the biggest problem is nonenforcement.

He said the committee was ready to work with Nema and other agencies to save lakes and wetlands facing great danger.

Committee legal officer Carolyne Khasoa said Nakuru county move fast to end pollution of lakes and wetlands. She said there’s no sustainable way to fight the problem.