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Lobby group calls for measures to curb climate change

Counties in the lake basin region have been challenged to develop policies to address climate change and its adverse effects on Lake Victoria.

A lobby group dubbed the Environmental Institute of Kenya expressed the need for measures to be initiated to curb serious environmental degradation in Lake Victoria.

The lobby group’s Nyanza Branch Secretary Ibrahim Oluoch said the degradation has led to growth of high levels of toxins in Lake Victoria affecting aquatic life. He cited widespread cases of cage fish farmers counting losses worth millions of shillings due to death of their fish.

The official said discoloration of water in which many parts of Lake Victoria have turned red or green was an indication of high levels of pollution. “What aggravates the situation is the foul smell which exudes from the affected parts of the Lake,” Oluoch said.

Addressing the media in Homa-Bay town, Oluoch noted that water in many parts of the lake was not safe to be used directly for domestic purposes due to high toxicity levels.

“We are calling on county governments to develop policies on climate change to save the lake from further degradation,” Oluoch said.

Environmental consultant Clifford Omondi said the issues affecting the lake can only be addressed through measures of climate change resilience. Omondi challenged Governors in Nyanza region to ensure their governments put policies in place to address impact of climate change.

He said that sound policies will enhance measures of fighting adversity of climate change. “A few counties have developed policies in Nyanza but we urge all county governments in this region to formulate them to prevent further pollution in the lake,” said Omondi.

He reiterated the measures should include planting of trees to deal with deforestation which causes desertification in many parts of the region. “We also appeal to residents of Nyanza region to take personal initiative of planting trees,” Omondi said.

He challenged county governments in the region to leverage on climate change to create employment opportunities for locals.

“Let our county administrations not only see climate change from the negative perspective alone. Climate change should also be used for creating job opportunities for the people through employment of personnel who combat its adversity,” said Omondi.

By Davis Langat

 

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