People living near flooded lakes in Rift Valley asked to relocate

The government is warning of far-reaching consequences for persons who have encroached on land around the flooded lakes in Rift Valley.

According to the government, initial investigations had indicated that many of those affected by the floods were to blame leading to loss of life and property.

This came as it emerged that a technical committee formed to study the new phenomena would hand over its report in a month’s time.

According to Wildlife PS Professor Fred Segor, the committee had embarked on its studies which included visiting all the five flooded lakes in Rift Valley.

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

“There will be far-reaching consequences on those who have encroached on the boundaries of the lake 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 at KWS Training College in Naivasha where 332 students graduated in a virtual ceremony graced by their lectures and few invited guests.

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.

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 percent 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