Double pain for Mwariki residents as Lake Nakuru continues to ‘swallow’ them

Over 300 families in Mwariki-Barut,Nakuru West subcounty are going through double pain after they were displaced by rising water from Lake Nakuru amidst COVID-19.

The families whose houses were swallowed by the water are now struggling to make ends meet as they recollect their lives.

On Wednesday the families narrated their painful experiences during a visit by members of the Rotary Club of Nakuru and Gilanis.

The affected locals say life has never been same.

Led by David Kahoro,they say the rising water from Lake Nakuru has affected 323 who had invested in the area.

Other 151 families have been displaced.

Kahoro adds that life has been turned upside down with many of them struggling to pay loans they had acquired to construct their investment infrastructure.

The dirty water mixed with sewage from washed away latrines also posing danger.

Despite the many challenges,the government has taken no effort to address the same with the county only having put in place a taskforce.

He says they have submitted their grievances to the national government but no response yet.

“We have written to Ministry of Devolution as well as Environment and county but we are yet to see action” he said.

Ms Lucy Muthoni-a resident says basic needs has been a challenge to many since the displacement.

She faults government for not acting despite making promises.

Similar sentiments echoed by Ms Anne Wanjiru who has been a resident since 1974.

Wanjiru says their hope is that the government will listen to their cry and to their aid adding that already three mothers have lost lives due to depression.

“We appeal to government to come to our aid.We are really suffering” said Wanjiru.

However,the visit by members of the Rotary Club of Nakuru and Gilanis gave the families some hope.

The group donated food hampers to 175 families to cushion them for one month.

Addressing media after handing over the donation,Gilanis Supermarket Chief Communication officer Fayaz Khan reiterated commitment towards supporting the families.

“We would like the situation to rectify itself but if it continues we shall go on with our support to the families”said Khan.

Job Okello from Rotary Club of Nakuru noting that the families in Mwariki-Barut are vulnerable as they are battling the displacement by water as well as COVID-19 pandemic effects.

While noting the challenges the families are facing,he called on government and well wishers to step in and aid the families with basic needs.

The families displaced by Lake water are really going through challenges from lack of shelter to food.We call for joint action so that we can reach to many families” said Okello.

Sentiments echoed by President Rotary Club of Nakuru Chris Gasperi.

He reiterated the club’s commitment towards vulnerable groups in society.

“The vulnerable communities need our support and we need to come together for such a task” said Gasperi.

It should be noted almost all the Lakes in Riftvalley Region have been rising causing destruction.

The phenomenon was last witnessed in Kenya in 1963.

Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna while on a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park two weeks ago attributed this to silting and heavy rainfall.

The government has continued to advise those living near the lakes to make their way to higher areas to avert disasters.

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