Lake Kenyatta Resurrects after Years of Destruction

Located in Lamu County, Lake Kenyatta was an oasis in the middle of the salty coastal waters.

The only freshwater lake in the region, Lake Kenyatta attracted tourists due to its rich flora and fauna that included hippos and a wide range of butterfly species.

A frail-looking hippo walks across the dried area of Lake Kenyatta in Lamu County. PHOTO: Courtesy

Lake Kenyatta would suffer neglect and encroachment over the years leading to massive loss of the aquatic life that depended on it.

For a lake that serves over 60,000 residents of Mpeketoni, the residents sold parts of the lake even as it dried.

As of 2017, the water levels on Lake Kenyatta had fallen to 12 metres and they were falling rapidly as the days wore on.

Trouble began when the levels hit a paltry 1.5 metres with the hippos and fish dying from the pangs of extreme drought.


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However, the Lake has come to resurrect with the on-going rainfall experienced in the country, making it beam with life once more.

“There is hope of regaining the lost glory of Lake Kenyatta. As KWS we are doing all we can to ensure that is achieved. There are so many people and wildlife dependent on this lake and that is why we are treating this campaign as a matter of urgency. Human activity is our biggest headache, not to mention the illegal encroachers who have title deeds for the wetlands. It’s tough but we must ensure the encroachment is stopped,” said Mr  Matthias Mwavita, a senior KWS warden.

Mwavita also added that there would be widespread efforts to reclaim parcels of land around the lake that have been irregularly acquired so that the wildlife at the lake can be preserved for posterity.

“We’ve partnered with various environmental organisations across Lamu County to enlighten the local community in Mpeketoni and Lamu as a whole on the importance of preserving water catchment areas. We are training environmentalists so that they can directly talk to the community and create awareness on the seriousness of the situation and what the future holds for them if Lake Kenyatta and the rest of the lakes in Lamu are left to die off,” he added.


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