14 days to remove illegal Naivasha structures

Farmers, flower farms, hotels and landing docs encroach on lake and riparian land

In Summary

• Lake seriously polluted by informal settlements, flower farms, hotels, county dock.

• Nema orders structures removed, many lacking licences. 

A structure is submerged by Lake Naivasha following a sharp rise in water levels.
ILLEGAL: A structure is submerged by Lake Naivasha following a sharp rise in water levels.

The National Environmental Management Authority has issued a 14-day notice to farmers and hoteliers to demolish structures on riparian land around Lake Naivasha.

Otherwise, they will face legal action 

The notice said permanent structures posed a major threat to the lake’s fragile ecosystem.

"You are directed to bring down permanent structures on the riparian land that is currently covered by water within 14 days,” reads the notice.

Speaking after an earlier visit, Nema chairman John Konchellah said that they had identified organisations violating the law.

He said Nema has also notified all bodies that had encroached on riparian land to move out immediately.

“We have issued orders for all permanent structures to be demolished and all eucalyptus trees around the lake to be uprooted,” he said.

Konchellah said the lake faced many problems and the national government would work with Nakuru county to solve them.

“One of the major challenges is the increasing water hyacinth and we are keen to partner with other bodies to remove it," he said.

Nema director of environment in Nakuru Solomon Kihiu said the Karagita landing beach,h which was constructed by the county, would be torn down.

He asked how the landing beaches were constructed without a Nema license, saying they threatened the lake.

“Apart from bringing down informal structures around the lake, we shall address pollution by hoteliers and flower farms,” Kihiu said.

Nema wetlands officer Stephen Katua said informal settlements around the lake are a  major source of pollution.

He cited Kihoto, Karagita, DCK and Kamere, sahi8ng their waste was swept into the lake when it rained.

“We are urging Nakuru county to make sure water from their sewerage plants is fully treated before it’s discharged,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)