Construction of Naivasha waterfront raises concerns

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 00:00 |
Transport CAS Wavinya Ndeti (left) is taken through the Lake Naivasha Waterfront design by experts from Kenya Wildlife Service and Public Works department. The government has approved the construction of the Sh520 million project on KWS Annex land near the lake. Photo/PD/Kirera Mwiti

Nakuru County government has expressed its concern over the proposed construction of Sh520 million Waterfront in Lake Naivasha starting next month.

According to the county, the project was ideal but it was a threat to the ongoing construction of a fish hatchery on the same area.

Two weeks ago, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Transport Wavinya Ndeti visited KWS Annex in Naivasha and announced that the project was set to kick off.

Experts from the ministry and KWS said that current structures on the ground, including classrooms for KWS Training Institute would have to be brought down to pave way for the project.

But according to the director of fisheries in Nakuru Mathew Ngila, plans were on course to complete the Sh5 million  hatchery in the next two months.

Ngila said that KWS and the contractor had not involved the county in their plans to construct a waterfront adding that they had learned of it through the media.

“The hatchery is about to be completed and we are only seeing stories in the media that the Ministry of Tourism plans to construct a waterfront on the same grounds,” he said.

Ngila added that they would seek more information from KWS over the project adding that the county fully backed national projects but called for the involvement of all stakeholders.

“Once complete the hatchery will be producing 100,000 fingerlings every three months and this will be used to restock lakes around the county and also supply to our fish farmers,” he said.

According to the chairman Lake Naivasha Water Resources User Association (LANARUA) Enock Kiminta the waterfront was a great idea but its implementation could hurt the lake.

He said the lake level kept fluctuating depending on the rains, adding that it would be hard to make sure the project location would not interfere with the lake’s ecosystem.

“An environmental impact assessment should be done before this project is carried out and our fear is that the project will have negative effects,” he said.

Last week, the CAS said they were working with their counterparts in Tourism to implement the waterfront which would be complete in six months.

“The design for the project is complete and we are working with the ministry of tourism in constructing the waterfront which will bring in job opportunities and tourists,” she said.

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