Lake Naivasha Clean-up

With the high number of fishermen on Lake Naivasha, there has been an increase in abandoned fishing nets in and around the lake. This as well as general waste that ends up in the lake from bad sewage management affects wildlife living in and around the lake.

As a result a joint initiative made up of different actors (i.e. the fishing community, government agencies, the private sector, and local environmental conservation institutions) are planning to conduct a clean-up of the lake, together with five settlements that are in close proximity to the lake. The clean up will be carried out in June 2022.

An increasing number of fishing gear is made from synthetic netting material and polypropylene twine which do not degrade easily. Fish are getting caught in the nets and dying without being removed for selling/eating which is a huge waste of the Lake’s fish stock. These nets have the capacity of 6-20% of their original catch capacity meaning the nets keep catching fish even after they are lost hence causing massive loss of fish stocks. These nets can continue to kill fish for up to 3 years (High, 1985). Other than killing fish, these abandoned nets also pose a great threat to other biodiversity. Especially aquatic birdlife in Lake Naivasha. The trend of birds getting trapped and or even killed in these nets is on the rise. An African Rock Python was also recently rescues trapped in abandoned nets. Boating activities are also affected as engine propellers get caught in abandoned nets. Pump houses for water abstraction often get clogged when these pieces of abandoned nets get sucked in the pumps.

The planned three day clean-up is a follow up to the last lake clean-up that was conducted in 2019 which resulted in the collection of about 100 tonnes of waste from the lake. The waste comprised of discarded nets (of different sizes, including the prohibited monofilament nets), stones, dead papyrus stems and roots, decayed fish, and plastic water bottles among others. The large number of decayed fish in the waste proves that fisheries stock is lost to ghost fishing.

This planned clean-up is aimed at removing abandoned nets and other waste in order to reduce mortalities of fish and other life in and around the lake.

This clean-up will also be extended to five adjacent settlements that are closer to the lake and considered as point sources of solid waste that threaten the health of the lake, i.e. Kasarani, Kamere, Kwa-Muhia , Karagita, and Kihoto. Sensitization of lake users and the general community will form part of the planned exercise.

Funds are needed to support this clean up. We appreciate anything you can put towards this. 

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