Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Friday warned about a possible ecological disaster if two major lakes encounter due to heavy rainfall and floods.
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Lake Baringo is the water source and habitat for birds, fish, hippopotamuses, and crocodiles. It also provides potable and irrigation water to over 180,000 people. The body water has increased by 60% from 130 to 270 square kilometers in the last seven years.
On its side, Lake Bogoria offers a hostile environment for wildlife and agriculture, because of its alkaline waters. It has expanded by about 25%, covering 43 square kilometers.
“It will be an ecological disaster if the two lakes meet. There is only a small gap left,” said KWS senior warden for Lake Baringo conservation area Jackson Komen.
“That siltation is causing the shallow lake to rise,” a scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre Tor-Gunnar Vanegen said.
Aside from heavy rains and floods that can cause the fusion of the lakes, uncontrolled deforestation caused erosion and soil washing. These conditions can accelerate the phenomenon.
Conservationists are concerned that the alkaline waters corrupt a safe and required water source, depriving the farmers, and wildlife from the resort. They also warned about the risk of soil alkalization, which could be irreversible.