Late April 2009
From a birding correspondent resident in Kenya:
"Regarding the Lake Naivasha White-throated Bee-eater population.
Birds are back, but in greatly reduced numbers.
Bees too are back but also in reduced numbers.
Difficult to say what are the causes of the decline, the
chemically-driven horticulture industry certainly is a possibility.
Yet over the past six months how the Nakuru populations are doing
I just don't know; but breeding sites around Naivasha are all silent
with no birds even prospecting. All in all a worrying situation, and
just one of the many concerns we have here at Naivasha.
The state of the lake is currently so critical that most of my time
just lately has been taken up trying to get as many people to wake up
and realise just what is going on. I have been in touch with Wetlands
International, who in turn have asked Birdlife International and
others for their comments, but to date all our concerns seem to fall
on deaf ears. The Government is clearly not interested, or just does
not want to listen, Kenya Wildlife Service are in total denial, yet daily the lake
deteriorates to a point of no return. The Riparian Association are
clearly saying that the lake is dying and is irreparably damaged with
no hope of recovery under current conditions. Sadly over the past
thirty years the entire lake's ecosystem has been subjected to
sustained abuse by uncontrolled and unplanned human activities. In
short the lake is dying due to human excesses and corporate greed,
coupled with a total lack of any law enforcement.
Several NGO's have tried to raise the alarm, but again everything has fallen on deaf ears.
The horticulture industry and the big multi-nationals are so powerful and
they wield so much clout at the highest levels of government.
Many people feel that the only way to get the word across is by a campaign
aimed at the consumer market in UK & Europe, after all it is the big
supermarket chains that take all of the Naivasha produce ( over a
million stems of cut flowers PER DAY and over 10 tons of pre-packed
vegetables & fruit PER DAY, 365 days a year). Alarm bells certainly
need ringing in North America, the UK & in Europe, but sadly it seems no one really wants
to rock the boat. Any help you can offer would be welcomed by us all.
Have a look at what one Canadian NGO had to say a year or so
ago, go to: www.foodandwaterwatch.org or www.canadians.org for
a very interesting document entitled " Lake Naivasha Withering Under
the Assault of International Flower Vendors" written by Maude
Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
PS: Another appalling statistic is that an estimated
8-10,00 head of cattle are currently eating their way through the
papyrus belt around the lake. Despite pleas and protestations to
the administration in Naivasha nothing is being done to get them out.
Sadly the entire papyrus belt is now stranded on dry land."