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Capital projects around Naivasha are a major threat to water sources

Water CS Sicily Kariuki with Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui samples water from one of the boreholes in Naivasha. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The ongoing and upcoming capital projects in Naivasha pose a major threat to water quivers in the Lake Naivasha basin.

According to stakeholders, the projects which include the Industrial park, Rironi-Mau Summit expressway, Inland Container Depot among others needed a lot of water.

Naivasha has been identified as a water-scarce-basin and heavily relies on water supply from the neighbouring Nyandarua County.

Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association (LANAWRUA) during the launch of its five-year strategic plan that seeks to address issues of water and conservation said there is a need for environmental studies to determine the effects of the capital projects.

The association chairman Enock Kiminta said the strategic plan seeks to address the issues of water governance, conflict management, and pollution in the vast basin.

He said that members of the water resource users association were fully behind the government projects but called for stakeholder engagement before they were carried out.

“These projects will definitely offer employment opportunities for our youths but there are fears that this could in future affect water quality and quantity,” he said.

Speaking after the launch Kiminta noted that this could in the future have effects on water levels in Lake Naivasha thus affecting fisheries and the tourism sector.

He at the same time noted that pollution in the basin was a major threat to water bodies that include the lake and several major rivers.

Kiminta pointed to informal settlements around the lake and the archaic sewer system in Naivasha town as some of the main sources of pollutants in the basin.

“Pollution is a major challenge in this basin mainly due to the poor sewer system and mushrooming of informal settlements,” he said.

On his part, David Mumo from the Water Resources Authority (WRA) admitted that the capital projects were heavy users of water.

He however defended the government projects adding that feasibility studies had been done with a view of conserving the current sources of water.

“The upcoming projects that include the Rironi-Mau Summit dual-carriage will use a lot of water but that will have minimal effects on the water sources,” he said.

Mumo who is in charge of the Rift Valley basin expressed his concern over the rising activities around the riparian land around Lake Naivasha.

“We have already gazetted the riparian land around the lake and very soon we shall move in with other government agencies to deal with the encroachers,” he said.

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