Due to climate change, increased floods simply mean more pollution. With poor sewage systems all the effluents from urban settings end up in lakes which act as reservoirs for Kenya’s poisoned waters. For instance the excess runoff has resulted in the rise of Lake Nakuru which has led to the mixture of lake water with treated and untreated sewage from the sewage treatment plants located adjacent to the lake. This situation paints a picture of 6,600 m3 of untreated sewage from east and west of Nakuru sewer system all being drained into Lake Nakuru. 

One of the results of Kenya’s poisoned waters was highlighted when the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (Kemfri) declared the fish poisonous, cutting off the locals from their livelihood and a source of food. This is only one indicator of what lies ahead if nothing is done. The reality facing both these lakes is that they are being fed with polluted and dead water that no longer supports life, a situation which if left unchecked will continue to poison fish. The loss and poisoning of fish could just be the beginning of a cascading effect to the ecosystem with the loss of a vital species in their environment.   

According to a blog from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry website dated March 17th 2021, Nakuru Governor, Lee Kinyanjui, highlights that the Nakuru county government and the German Development Bank are working on a Ksh.3 billion solid waste management programme that will help in the upgrading of the 40 year old sewage system facilitating the separation of the storm water that floods the sewage during the rainy season. The move is welcomed, but the proposed solution is a quick band-aid to a bigger problem. The root of the problem is the unregulated disposal of untreated effluent from both domestic and industrial waste into rivers that led to both these lakes and not the separation of storm water and the sewage system. This situation is just but a case study of the reality of Kenya’s poisoned waters that emanet from urban rivers. 
This year’s World Water Day 2021 celebration was under the theme ‘valuing water’ which is a complete irony given the state and lack of attention given to Kenya’s poisoned waters. We would like to urge the government and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to come up with a lasting and sustainable solution towards water pollution across the country. It is time we treat our natural aquatic ecosystem with the seriousness it deserves, putting a halt to all the companies directing untreated waste into rivers and lakes, as well as working on proper sewerage systems. With a clear plan, resources and close evaluation we are confident that the relevant authorities are able to battle out this menace with long term solutions; in return rejuvenating the vibrant economy and thriving ecosystem that the dwellers of both these lakes once enjoyed.

Help us impact change and save the destiny of our lifeline by signing this PETITION to demand better policy implementation to Kenya’s poisoned waters by NEMA .

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