Fears of flooding as water levels rise in Lake Naivasha

Members of the public help to salvage property after River Karati burst its banks and flooded Delamere shopping centre located off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]
A water agency has issued an alert over flooding of flower farms next to Lake Naivasha following a sharp rise in water levels around the troubled water body.

According to the Water Resource Authority (WRA), the lake had recorded the highest water levels in two years occasioned by the rains mainly around Nyandarua, which is the lake’s catchment area.

Data from the authority shows the lake levels currently stand at 1889.35m above sea level (ASL) with projections that this would continue to rise.

Sub-county regional manager Geoffrey Mworia said there were indications that the levels could rise further and flood neighbouring flower farms and hotels.

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He said that by January 1, water levels in the lake stood at 1887.76m ASL but this had dropped to 1887.42m ASL by February 26.

“The lake levels have since then risen sharply and if the rains continue we expect institutions neighbouring the lake to be flooded.”

Mworia added that the highest level the lake had risen to was 1890m ASL in the 1970s, noting that there were indications that the current levels could change with the rains.

Speaking in his office, Mworia said that they were keenly monitoring dams in the region in the wake of the Solai incident where 47 people died.

High alert

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“Two weeks ago, River Karati burst its banks flooding Delamere shopping center and the nearby Manera village. We are on high alert in case of anything.”

At the same time, stakeholders around the lake have called on the county government to reintroduce the yearly fishing ban to save the fish stock that is on the decline.

According to David Kilo, chairman of the boat operators, the fish catch had dropped drastically since the year began due to over-fishing and poaching.

“Though the ban will affect the lives of the fisher-folk, it will in the end see an increase in fish production which will be benefit the traders more,” he said.

Kilo at the same time expressed his concern over rising cases of illegal fishing mainly along breeding zones, adding that this was affecting their catch.

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“It is sad that we have invested thousands of shillings in restocking the lake only for a few individuals to illegally fish in the breeding grounds.”

floodinglake naivashaheavy rains