The rising lakes mystery: Nature is fighting back

An elderly woman fishing on the shores of Lake Baringo on August 15, 2020. The lake's water levels have been rising.


Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • At various multilateral for a, countries have tried to respond to the climate change challenges.
  •  Some of the exaggerated budgetary allocations to security agencies can be redirected to this noble cause.

There has been an increasingly worrying phenomenon whereby lakes in the country are rising by the day, putting many lives and livelihoods in jeopardy.

From Lake Victoria, all the way to Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria and Lake Nakuru, to name but a few, the story is the same. The waters are rising to dangerous levels.

For a long time, many lay people considered global warming and climate change as mere academic terms advanced by fear-mongering scientists. Shockingly, this view is still being held by many, including highly influential people like US President Trump, who argue that climate change is a hoax. It is not.

An Ilchamus elder on the shores of Lake Baringo or a seasoned fisherman in Lake Victoria may not have the scientific explanation but they have lived long enough to know something is amiss.

Selfish interests

At various multilateral for a, countries have tried to respond to the climate change challenges. The 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil was a major milestone, where important resolutions on sustainable development and climate change were agreed upon.

However, countries, just like human beings, are driven by selfish interests and economic considerations often supersede environmental concerns. Industries still emit harmful greenhouse gases, forests get depleted, marine wildlife continue to die due to pollution and oceans are rising due to global warming, posing an existential threat to Mankind.

Despite hosting the global headquarters for Unep, matters to do with the environment and climate change do not get the attention they deserve in our country.

Granted, there have been efforts to restore green spaces in the capital city but our leaders seem to have more pressing issues to attend to – such as the next general election.

‘Unforgiving’ Nature

And, as prophesied by Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai’, the “unforgiving” Nature is fighting back. We are watching in horror as environment is destroyed in the guise of ‘development projects’ and evictions from water catchment areas politicised.

The solution is three-fold. At the individual level, we must do more to nurture our environment by simple things like planting trees and responsibly disposing our waste. Secondly, at the State level, more budgetary allocations need be channelled towards conservation.

 Some of the exaggerated budgetary allocations to security agencies can be redirected to this noble cause. After all, most conflicts occur due to shrinking resources.

There should also be a firm resolve to evict encroachers on water catchments and riparian lands and recall the business licences of factories that recklessly emit toxins.

Tackling climate change is a global effort. International treaties like the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord ought to be implemented fully.

The world also needs to move away from greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming to eco-friendly products. Let us think of future generations.

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