Flower farms pose danger to water mass

The country’s multi-billion flower industry is centred upon Lake Naivasha, on which its survival depends.

A few flower farms have, however, been accused of breaking the riparian law that protects the lake from degradation.

The Ndung'u land report revealed the extent of encroachment on the lake and named La Pieve, Kongoni Farm, Sher Agencies and Pelican Farm among the defaulters. Also named are individuals said to have acquired riparian sites.

The Lake Naivasha Management Committee says the association has cited between 16 and 22 cases of encroachment and that only two farms have agreed to pull down their illegal structures.

Flower farms near the lake pose a risk of draining highly toxic chemicals and fertilisers into the lake.

Some 14 cows last week died after drinking water from a drainage trench flowing from a flower farm, which however is not on riparian land, although water flows from it into the lake.

Kenya Flower Council director Erustus Muriithi has urged flower farmers to uphold a code of conduct on conserving the environment.

"The council has a comprehensive and strict code of conduct that embraces all relevant legislation, including riparian lands," Mr Muriithi says.

"One of our members three years ago voluntarily removed all his green houses off titled land at a huge personal cost since he felt they were infringing on riparian land," he said.

A residential house for the manager of one flower of the farms named as defaulters to the riparian law sits on the lake shore.

"They claimed that the tank is water-tight and tightly locked but what’s the difference?" another disgruntled land owner commented.

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