Activists in court to challenge Nyong'o's plans

Plans by the county government to transform idle Lake Victoria beaches into tourism gems could suffer a setback after an activist moved to court to challenge the expansion of Nyanza Golf Club.

The petition could also upset plans by the National Government to reclaim Lake Victoria at a cost of Sh15 billion.

Michael Otieno Nyaguti, an environmental activist, has filed a petition seeking to freeze the ongoing reclamation of Kisat beach for the expansion of the club’s golf course to international standards.

But the petition could also affect the construction of a crucial assembly yard which will put together four hyacinth harvesters meant to clean the Winam Gulf before dredging of a shipping channel begins.The project seeks to eat into the said beach.

According to Nyaguti of Magnam Environmental Network, efforts by Kisumu to undertake a lakefront development with sights set on floating it to investors at the November 2021 Africities Summit amounts to environmental degradation.

Kisumu plans entails relocation of a Hindu cemetery at the beach and several commercial buildings stretching from the popular Lwang’ni fish eatery to Kisat beach where the golf course is situated.

Nyaguti claims neither environmental assessment nor public participation was done before the project, which saw Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o fly to Germany in seek for funds, kicked off.

The petition has been registered at the Environment and Land Court and lists Kisumu County Government and Nyanza Golf Club as respondents. It claims the reclamation is harmful to the wetland and ecosystem.

The court directed Nyaguti to serve the respondents pending the hearing after the Easter break.

Reclamation at the mouth of river Kisat, which is used to empty treated effluent, he argues, would “expose the lake to direct contamination due to destruction of vegetation.”