Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha

Recurso de Ecoturismo


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‘Imarisha Naivasha’ is a recently launched programme created to tackle the degradation of Lake Naivasha and its catchment and put future development on a sustainable footing.

Centred on a large freshwater lake, the Naivasha catchment supports hundreds of thousands of livelihoods, principally through commercial flower and vegetable growing, smallholder farming and tourism. Pastoralism and fishing are also important aspects of the social and economic profile of the area. The local horticulture and tourism activities are substantial foreign exchange earners, and Naivasha is the hub of flower production for export from Kenya. Naivasha Town has grown in an ad hoc manner to support a population of over 300,000, and several informal settlements have developed around the lake, mainly to house workers from flower farms. There is also a rapidly developing geo-thermal industry nearby.

The last 20 years has witnessed extensive deforestation in the upper catchment, widespread erosion and catchment degradation, over-abstraction of water, under investment in social and municipal services and a lack of enforcement of laws intended to protect the environment. Poor smallholder farming practices and urban pollution are now arguably the biggest issues, but some inappropriate commercial horticultural practices have also contributed to the decline. All these threats were heightened in 2009 when Kenya experienced severe drought which became a catalyst for the birth of the Imarisha Naivasha project.

Imarisha Naivasha is a unique initiative of the Kenya Government, supported by HRH Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit that aims to address the economic and environmental challenges facing the catchment in an integrated and concerted way. It builds on a legacy of local public sector, private sector and civil society partnerships currently undertaking conservation and community support projects. Wide stakeholder participation will be critical to success, and at the programme’s organisational heart is a management board drawn from the main civil society and private sector interest groups, with government also represented. The board is responsible for the planning, allocation and management of resources in the Lake Naivasha Basin, and is unusual in having significant powers and a ‘hotline’ to the Office of the Prime Minister. It aims to prepare a long-term development plan that will provide for the sustainable management and equitable allocation of the basin’s natural resources for all stakeholder interests. It is also mandated to coordinate all research and development activities aimed at restoring the catchment environment and to ensure the proper enforcement of laws relating to environmental protection and resource allocation.

Draft integrated management plan

Water Allocation PLAN

Lake Naivasha: experience and lessons learned in brief for sustainable management


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