By Bernard Gitau
Increased human settlement and urbanisation around Lake Nakuru National Park is polluting the lake and endangering aquatic life. Lake Nakuru is currently flooded, displacing wild animals and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers after their offices and houses were submerged.
KWS Director William Kiprono says the park, which attracts over 350,000 tourists annually, is being polluted by factories and catchment areas in Nakuru, making it hard for aquatic life to survive.
“The accumulation of plastic bags and other garbage has remained a nightmare and an ugly scene to both domestic and international tourists. Over 500kg of plastic is cleaned up from the park every week,” he says. KWS is calling on Nakuru county government to curb the excessive use of plastic papers and waste.
The county has a population of over 1.6 million people following the influx of Internally Displaced People from other counties after the post election violence, many of who settled along the park fence.
Speaking during the 10th edition of Cycle With Rhinos event at the park, Kiprono said wildlife is dying from eating plastics. “When it rains, flood waters carry tonnes of plastic waste into the lake,” he said. This year’s event, which seeks to raise funds to erect the park’s perimeter fence, was attended by 512 cyclists and raised over Sh4 million.
Nakuru county executive for environment, Prof Richard Rop, said factories around the lakes, rivers and other water bodies have been advised to treat and recycle used water before releasing it to ensure it’s safe.
Courtesy of mediamaxnetwork.co.ke