Rising Lake Naivasha water levels leave eight dead

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 00:00 | By
Hotels near Karagita Public Beach in Naivasha submerged by water from Lake Naivasha following rise of water levels. Photo/PD/Bernard Gitau

The Ministry of Environment has reported that the unusual rising water levels on Lake Naivasha has left eight people dead, 11 others nursing serious injuries from hippo attacks and over 28,000 people displaced-in Rift Valley. 

Environment Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said such a phenomenon that has continued to affect lakes, dams and rivers in the Rift Valley was last witnessed in 1963.

“It is estimated that close to 8,338 households have been affected and over 28,428 people displaced,” said Kiptoo.

The rising water levels in Lakes Baringo, Olbolosat and Bogoria have also forced families from their homes. 

Speaking during a Multi-Agency Team on rising water levels in Rift Valley lakes, Kiptoo attributed the move to siltation, increased rainfall, shifting of tectonic plates deep in the earth’s crust and deforestation among others.

Moves swiftly

Kiptoo said the government will move swiftly to address the loss of life, destruction of property and human and wildlife conflict that has been promoted by the rising water levels. 

With respect to Lake Baringo in Baringo County, the PS observed that the region has equally been affected as some 4,738 households have been displaced.

“Baringo has reported the damage of 368.75 kilometer of roads in Kampi Samaki and Loboi health facilities are completely submerged,” he added.

The situation, he said is worrying as it can lead to an environmental catastrophe of Lake Baringo fresh waters, merging with the alkaline Lake Bogoria.

“The Kenya Wildlife Service has moved Ostrich, Impala and Warthogs to higher grounds in Longcharo Island in Lake Baringo,” said Kiptoo.

To avert humanitarian crisis, the Nakuru County government has provided cash transfers to the displaced families to alleviate their suffering and paid three  months’ rent.

The national government on the other hand will reconstruct and equip health centres in Kampi Samaki and Loboi, which were submerged by the rising waters.

“The Government, through the Ministry of Devolution and the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALS) will support the construction of houses, schools and village access roads destroyed by floods,” he said.

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