Govt warns riparian land encroachers around Rift Valley lakes

Written By: Silas Mwiti
161

Govt warns riparian land encroachers around Rift Valley lakes

The Government has warned of dire consequences to individuals who have encroached on land around the lakes in the Rift Valley.

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Recently, high water levels leading to floods have been experienced in the Rift Valley region leading to the destruction of property, loss of life and displacement of people.

According to Wildlife PS Professor Fred Segor, a technical committee of scientists to study the rising waters embarked on a fact-finding mission and is supposed to hand over its report in a month’s time.

PS Fred Segor said that the committee had visited all the five flooded lakes in Rift Valley.

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He noted that the committee would make its recommendations to the government once they were through with their studies.

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“There will be far-reaching consequences on those who have encroached on lake boundaries leading to flooding and an increase in cases of human-wildlife conflict,” he said.

Segor noted that the heavy rains had also caused flooding in Turkwel Dam and Lake Turkana displacing tens of families and destroying property worth thousands of shillings.

The PS was speaking in KWS Training College in Naivasha where 332 students graduated in a virtual ceremony graced by their lectures and few invited guests.

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He noted that the government had formed a Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) the first of its kind in the region after seven years of waiting.

He noted that for years there was no coordinated data on wildlife conservation leading to contradicting data and information in the sector.

“The biggest challenge the country has faced in terms of conservation is lack of clear data but this will be addressed by the newly formed Research Institute in Naivasha,” he said.

Segor promised the management of the new institution that his department would lobby for funding in this financial year terming research as critical for conservation.

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The acting-director for WRTI Dr Patrick Omondi said that Covid-19 had affected the operations of the institute with revenue dropping from Sh94m to Sh39m as there was no student intake.

He at the same time added that they were in discussion with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to support deserving cases from the institute so that they could pay their school fees.

“The transition rate in this college stands at 50 per cent mainly due to a drop in the number of students for lack of fees, low grades levels and family-related issues and we need to address this,” he said.

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