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State steps-up to save Lake Naivasha’s ecosystem

The government has adopted a raft of measures that seeks to streamline the fisheries sector and enhance sustainable exploitation of marine resources in Lake Naivasha.

The measures adopted seeks to address persistent challenges that continues to face the lake including illegal fishing, use of outlawed fishing gears, pollution, degradation of riparian land among others.

Through a multi-agency approach, the government seeks to strengthen, enforce and ensure strict compliance of the enacted fisheries laws and regulations for sustainable use of the lake resources.

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Mutua Kisilu said the team drawn from Kenya Coast Guard Services, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Fisheries, Beach Management Units and administrative unit has been tasked to reign in on illegal fishing menace.

Kisilu said the team will conduct daily surveillance and enforcement patrols at the lake to ensure compliance with the fishing timelines, use of correct fishing gears and protect fish breeding areas.

He said the government will take swift action against criminal elements engaging in illegal fishing who continues to rob the government of the much need taxes and reviews to revive and grow the economy.

Kisilu said Lake Naivasha is a key water resource that supports tens of thousands of residents, is a key food basket and a tourism attraction site which must be protected by all means.

The DCC said the team is engaging the judiciary to ensure culprits get stiffer penalties as stipulated by country’s maritime laws so as to help reduce the mounting pressure on the lake.

He said together with the Nakuru County government, the team seeks to demarcate all the lake boundaries and access routes to seal all the porous routes to boost security.

Kisilu said the team will engage all stakeholders and sensitise the community on sustainable fishing and alternative livelihoods to help reduce pressure at the water body.

He said the move will help curb increased cases of minors who have been engaging in illegal fishing to support their families leading to rise in school dropouts.

Kisilu said the government through the Kenya Forest service will embark on tree planting exercise along the lake riparian land to restore degraded areas which are suitable areas for fish breeding.

The interventions come after an outcry from the fishing fraternity on the increased cases of grabbing, subdivision of riparian land and illegal logging which poses a threat to the lake ecosystem.

Consequently, Kisilu said the team will closely work with NEMA and Water Resources Authority officials to ensure strict conformity with chemical and waste discharges from the surrounding flower farms, hotels and residential homes.

By Erastus Gichohi

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