Environmentalists are warning that the proposed capital projects in Naivasha could fail to materialize if the water issue is not resolved.

With major rivers flowing into Lake Naivasha drying up due to the ongoing drought, questions have emerged on the viability of the industrial parks in Mai Mahiu area.

This came as stakeholders called for a ban on irrigation along streams and tributaries in the Aberdares to save the current situation around Lake Naivasha.

According to the national chairman Water Resource Users Association (NAWRUA, Mr Enock Kiminta, there was a need to invest in the catchment, which was the main source of water in the basin.

Birds on Lake Naivasha. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

He noted that Lake Naivasha basin was a water-scarce region noting that the current drought had worsened the situation with all the rivers drying up.

"The current water shortage could affect the planned capital projects in Naivasha, including the industrial parks, as they need a lot of water to operate," he said.

He added that the planned construction of dams by the government was timely if there was proper planning and the projects were commissioned before the rainy seasons kicked off.

"The drought is an eye-opener in terms of water conservation, and dams should come in handy in addressing water demands by the capital projects," he said.

Kiminta also issued a warning to tens of families that had encroached on land around the lake that they faced displacement once the heavy rains started.

He noted that since the lake levels started dropping, tens of area residents had encroached on the riparian land for farming while others had constructed permanent houses.

"The meteorological department is projecting heavy rains in the coming months, and this will flood the riparian land around the lake and displace all those who have encroached," he said.

The chairman of Lake Naivasha Basin Landscape Association (LANABLA), Paul Ruoya, blamed the current water crisis for failure to invest in the catchment area.

He noted that the planned construction of mega-dams in the Aberdares for use in the capital projects and nearby towns would be futile as rivers in the region continued to dry.

"The government should make sure that the catchment area has enough water courtesy of conservation before constructing dams to support the industrial parks," he said.