Stakeholders around Lake Naivasha have raised concerns over the destruction of papyrus around the riparian land leading to massive pollution of the water body.
They are now calling for concerted efforts to reclaim the land and replant the papyrus which filters waste from entering the lake.
According to Lake Naivasha Water Users Association (LanaWrua) chairman Enock Kiminta the lack of the papyrus reeds spells doom for the lake.
Kiminta said fluctuating water levels due to overabstraction, overgrazing and other human activities had contributed to the decline of the critical reeds.
“Currently, we have recorded high cases of organic pollution in the lake where all the waste from Naivasha town and nearby estates are being washed into the lake whenever it rains,” he said.
He termed papyrus as very efficient filters of silt and nutrients and capable of filtering excessive nutrients while being a habitat for fish and wildlife.
“It is sad that we are now witnessing the end of papyrus in this lake and this only adds to the numerous challenges affecting this water body,” he said.
Kiminta said there was an urgent need to rehabilitate the degraded areas especially prone to pollution to avoid a potential disaster.
“Waste from various estates near the lake like Kamere, Kasarani, Karagita and DCK are finding their way into the lake,” he said.
He at the same time said the lake’s water had turned brown, adding that it spells doom for marine life in the area.
“The chemicals are still flowing in the lake and this is catastrophic as the last time the flower growers did this we witnessed massive fish deaths,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Lake View MCA Karanja Mburu who said nearly 60 per cent of papyrus and trees across the riparian land had been wiped out leading to the flow of polluted waste into the lake.
“The county is seeking funds so that we can start planting papyrus and trees around the riparian land so as to save this water body,” he said.
“We have challenges in the lake ranging from grabbing of the riparian land to unmarked boundaries and this can be addressed by setting up an authority to focus on the lake’s conservation,” he said.