NEMA needs to act urgently to save Kenya’s Lakes: Greenpeace Africa

Following the recent calamity of poisoned fish in Lake Nakuru and Lake Victoria, Greenpeace Africa is calling on NEMA to commit to stopping pollution in Lake Nakuru and Lake Victoria.

Piles of dead Nile perch have been washing up on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya, threatening the livelihoods of the surrounding communities. There have also been several incidents of fish dying in Lake Nakuru, prompting the government to issue  a warning on consumption of fish from Lake Nakuru citing poisoning from sewage. 

Despite the warning on Lake Nakuru fish poisoning, the massive death of fish in Lake Victoria and the increased level of Lake pollution in Kenya, there is no commitment from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) which is mandated to oversee and implement all policies relating to the environment protection.

“Pollution is leading to fish poisoning threatening both the health of consumers and the livelihood of communities living around Lake Nakuru and Victoria,” said Amos Wemanya, Greenpeace Africa Campaigner. “Raw Sewage is contaminating our lakes, poisoning our fish, and poisoning our children, NEMA needs to step up and protect the lakes from perennial pollution,” added Wemanya.

The Lakes have for a long time been a sink to excessive nutrients and untreated effluent that have led to fish die-offs, algal blooms, and the spread of hyacinth, ferocious waterweed. Flooding episodes around the lakes is exacerbating the existing pollution menace. This has continued to negatively impact millions of people in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya who depend on Lake Victoria and Lake Nakuru for their livelihood.

“Extreme weather events such as flooding are threatening the sustainability of natural resources that communities depend on for survival. The rising lake water in Nakuru mixes with the raw sewage in neighbouring sewage treatment ponds leading to the pollution that puts the lives of those who live close to the lake at risk,” continued Wemanya.

NEMA has the mandate and power to implement laws and policies that protect Kenya’s rivers, wetlands, and lakes from pollution. Greenpeace Africa is urging NEMA to take a stand on the water pollution issue in Kenya and specifically on protecting Lake Nakuru and Victoria and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on these resources.

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