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Human-wildlife conflict in Lake Naivasha

30 October 2012, 15:07 Wesley Gachugu

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has expressed concern over the wanton destruction of Lake Naivasha riparian land.

The committee said hundreds of acres have so far been destroyed and others grabbed.

According to the committee chairman John Mututho, part of the land grabbed was being used by wildlife and had caused conflict leading to loss of property.

Mututho said some investors around the lake had grabbed the vital public land and accused the provincial administration for orchestrating the move.

“In spite of bringing in the much needed revenue, these investors have also put up electric fences way up to the lake causing a human-wildlife conflict,” he said.

The Naivasha Mp wondered what had happened to the original map detailing the areas demarcated as riparian land and called on the concerned authorities to investigate the matter.

“The Ministry of Forest and Wildlife, NEMA and others should move with haste and seek a solution so that this land is maintained as it’s meant to benefit the public,” he said.

He put flower farmers who had grabbed the land on notice and erected permanent structures saying that the land would soon be returned to the public.

“You cannot compete with nature and if you cannot … have the 18 corridors opened then the rising waters of this lake will come calling on you,” Mututho warned.

He was concerned that the lake’s levels were rising to alarming levels, but also noted that concerted efforts to conserve the Mau and Malewa River had borne fruits.

“I thank all stake holders including the PM’s Office who spearheaded these conservation efforts as the levels had risen by over 7ft in the last two years,” he acknowledged.

Mututho was speaking to the press after visiting part of the affected land around the fresh water body.

An environmentalist around the lake, Daniel Karanja, said that the rise in water levels had also brought rare birds species.

“The African Jacana, African Darta and the Sacred Ibis species that disappeared many years ago are now back while the common carps are now doing well in this lake,” he explained.

In the last three months, the lake levels have risen sharply due to the heavy rains being experienced in the catchment areas.

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