By: Isaac Mwaura @MountKenyaTimes
The sharp rise in water levels around Lake Naivasha which has led to flooding of flower farms, hotels and estates has been attributed to high siltation in the water body.
According to experts, the freshwater lake was becoming shallower at a rate of three centimeters per year due to the sediments from catchment area and ongoing projects being swept in.
In the last couple of months, the lake levels have risen to the highest levels ever at 1892.8m above sea level since 1906 when it stood at 1892m ASL.
According to the secretary Lake Naivasha Riparian Association (LNRA) Silas Wanjala, the water body was one of the most erratic in the region.
According to him the current crises are self-made as the affected people encroached in to riparian land and constructed permanent structure.
“The flooding has been caused by the high amounts of silt been washed in to the lake making it shallower and flooding nearby farms and Kihoto estate,” said Wanjala.
He warned this had affected the quality of water in the lake and put into risk the fisheries sector which employed hundreds.
The chairman Lake Naivasha Basin Landscape Association (LANABLA) Paul Ruoya noted that run-off from Eburru and Aberdare forests had contributed to the silt leading to the rise in water levels.
He pointed out that farming on the riparian should be stopped as this had seen the papyrus weed which sieved any water into the lake destroyed.
“This lake is very crucial to the economy of this country and there is need to protect it through sustainable farming in the catchment area and controlled fishing,” he said.
Ruoya added that this could be done through an increase in budgetary allocation to environmental conservation and education for those around the lake.
On his part, the chairman Lake Naivasha Water Resources User Association (LANARUA) Enock Kiminta said that the lake was like a bowl which was now spilling its content.
He said that the lake was becoming shallower every year due to human action around informal estates in Naivasha and the catchment area.
“There are proposals to construct a dam in Aberdare and this will in the future kill Lake Naivasha and the flower and fisheries sectors which are the mainstay for thousands,” he said.
Peter Mehta, CEO of the Crayfish Hotel, said the rise in water had level left a trail of destruction flooding the hotel and nearby farms.
Mehta noted that for over 30 years that the hotel had been in operation they had never recorded anything of the kind with the levels rising by the day.
“We are not on riparian land but the water levels from the lake have risen sharply affecting our business and we are calling for support from the government to restart business,” said.