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SOS Rhino : In the News : Deforestation threatens Lake Nakuru

Deforestation threatens Lake Nakuru


Monday, April 14, 2003
By Wanjiru Macharia

East African Star Lake Nakuru is on the verge of drying up due to the continued destruction of its water catchment areas.

Meanwhile, the management committee of the Lake Nakuru National Park yesterday disclosed that the park needs Sh11 million for its maintainance.

This is as a result of a decline in tourists visiting Kenya due to varied problems the world is facing including terrorism.

The committee led by the park Senior Warden, Anne Kahihia said Kenyans will have to struggle to raise funds to keep Kenya’s game parks in good condition.

An Egerton University don, Dr Fred Waweru said the lake would dry up if the remaining forest cover was not preserved.

Waweru said destruction of the vast Mau East and Menengai forests was a major contributing factor to the lake’s reduced water levels.

The don appealed to the communities surrounding the lake to ensure that the environment was well conserved.

The don was speaking at the park during the ‘Cycle with the Rhino’ race, which was aimed at raising funds for a rhino sanctuary.

A total of Sh500,000 was realised during the weekend event, which was organised by the Kenya Wildlife Service and Lake Lodge management.

More than 20 cyclist covered over 30 kilometres within the park to raise funds in support of the rhino sanctuary.

He further urged the Government to ensure that the forest cover in the region was improved to save the lakes in the area from drying up.

The lakes which include Lake Naivasha, Bogoria, Baringo and Nakuru risk drying up due to environmental degradation and long dry spells.

Waweru said the university has embarked on conserving and improving the water catchment areas as the institution has since started a tree nursery.

He said the university is also educating the communities on the importance of conserving and keeping the environment clean.

Waweru observed that forest destruction has led to massive soil erosion which is in turn drained into the lake by the storm water.

He added that soil erosion posed another risk to the lake which is the habitat for millions of flamingos due to siltation, leading to raised ground levels.

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