Swelling waters of Lake Baringo causing alarm

Fear as Two Lakes in Baringo County are Only 5 Kilometres From Merging

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Residents of Baringo County are a worried lot as Lakes Baringo and Bogoria are swelling at an alarming rate, even as authorities warn that more is yet to come.

The current fear is that Lake Baringo and Bogoria are only five kilometres away from merging.

Read More: Photos of Sinking Hotels, Schools and Homes Add to Fears as Lakes Baringo and Bogoria are on The Verge of Merging

And in a case of history repeating itself, the rising water levels have submerged homes, schools, health centres and disrupted road networks as well as electricity connections.

Hundreds of businesses have been closed down as the fast rising waters continue to displace people thousands of people.

Wild animals are also feeling the impact even as Lake Baringo has spilled tens of kilometres into the main land.

Now the waters are reclaiming human territories, with the most affected being hotels and tourist attractions.

Hippos and crocodiles are roaming villages and school grounds that have been swallowed by the waters.

Authorities worry that the surrounding hills such as the Roko conservancy that protects endangered giraffes is at risk of total submersion, threatening other wild animals such as warthogs, impalas and ostriches.

The residents say the rising level of water is causing untold fear, with many of them having never seen such a phenomenon.

Climate experts now say that the effects of global warming are the major cause.

Swelling lakes in Baringo County now worrying
Some experts are now blaming the swelling of lakes on the on-going geothermal explorations. Image/Standard Digital

In the year 2010, the fresh water Lake Baringo measured 176 square kilometres but today due to increased water levels measures 276 square kilometres.

“We might be staring at an ecological crisis if this happens. The dramatic rise in water levels along the Rift lakes makes merger a possibility,” James Kimaru, a Lake Bogoria senior warden said while speaking to the Standard newspaper.

Another warden Jackson Komen with wide knowledge of the conspicuous changes told the standard Newspaper “Lake Baringo has been swelling gradually over time for the past seven years. Major roads have been cut off as a result. Although we cannot exactly point at the cause, siltation and geothermal drilling must have contributed to this phenomenon,”

History is now repeating itself. Initially, Lake Bogoria was 34 square kilometres but current estimates show that it is measuring 43 square kilometres.

“We had put up new curio shops, administrative offices including a conference hall and a new stronger gate, but they are all gone. We had to put up another new gate. The cost of putting up infrastructure has also risen such that a road that was constructed at Sh16 million in 2013 was constructed afresh at Sh30 million,” Kimaru said while speaking on the flooding that caused destruction of infrastructure and administration offices.

Some experts are now blaming the swelling of lakes on the on-going geothermal explorations.

Baringo County DG on the impending tragedies as more people are displaced said: “It is a catastrophe. The swelling lakes have displaced over 15,000 families. They have cut road networks, disrupted power lines and flooded major irrigation schemes like Perkerra that often supply seeds, and submerged hotels and health centres. Climate change is real and we are feeling it,”

Among proposed solutions for the rising waters include the construction of water dykes and drilling drainage tunnels.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Photos of Sinking Hotels, Schools and Homes Add to Fears Lakes Baringo and Bogoria are on The Verge of Merging - The Kenyan Herald

  2. It’s due to human activity, loss of soil cover thus allowing more water to flow rapidly to the lakes. The lakes flood due to high levels of silt – now you know what happens when we are told to conserve Mau forest but we politicise the process.

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