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Floods cause lake pollution

The  flooding of tens of flower farms and landing beaches occasioned by the ongoing rains has raised fears of massive pollution of Lake Naivasha.

The  Environment  Cabinet Secretary (CS), Keriako Tobiko said the rise in lake water levels had left farms and structures around the water body submerged, a move he added could lead to adverse effects on the lake’s ecosystem in the coming months.

Speaking  after an aerial view of the lake, Tobiko admitted that chemical discharge from the farms were now finding its way back to the lake causing water pollution.

According to the CS, massive encroachment of the riparian land was to blame for the current flooding which had seen flower farms lose flowers and equipment worth millions of shillings.

“After the visit it’s evident that tens of green houses that use chemicals are under water while some informal settlements have also been flooded discharging human waste into the lake,” he said.

Tobiko said the government will revisit the issue of riparian land around the lake with a view of finding a lasting solution once the current crisis of Covid-19 and floods were over.

The  Water Resources Authority (WRA) Naivasha Sub-Regional Manager, Geoffrey Mworia said the lake levels stood at 1890.8m above sea level the highest ever in the last 50 years.

He however, termed the current occurrence as normal saying that the lake was reclaiming its territory following encroachments of the riparian land.

“In some of the cases pump houses that use diesel are already in water and this is a major threat to the lake’s fragile ecosystem,” he said.

Mworia added that they had in the past issued a notice to those living or farming around the lake to move out before the water levels rose leaving several flower farms, hotels and estates submerged in water.

He expressed fears of a looming massive pollution in the lake mainly from flooded latrines in Kihoto estate which borders the lake.

Tens of families from Kihoto have been forced to relocate after their homes and latrines were flooded due to the ongoing rains contaminating water wells in the area.

By  Esther  Mwangi

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