Families on the shores of Lake Victoria are in despair as the rising waters in the lake threaten to submerge their ancestral land.
According to a survey conducted by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), 1,600 acres have been submerged by the rising waters in Kanyagwal location, in Nyando, Kisumu County alone.
Retired Ogenya Sub Location Assistant Chief, Nelson Onyango Abuor, has bared the brunt of these rising waters. His seven-acre piece of land has steadily been worn out by the bulging lake.
His five-roomed retirement home has since been submerged, aside from losing his crops, livestock and other household items.
A man carries an 80-kilogram Nile Perch caught in Lake Victoria.
“The rise in Lake Victoria water levels which started in 2019 happened so fast. It is sad seeing the home which I built using my pension submerged in the water,” stated Mr Abuor.
“I had invested all my life savings on my farm and my home. All this has gone down the drain,” added Abuor.
Kanyagwal Location Chief, Boniface Nyandeje, confirmed that at least 864 households have been displaced by the raging waters.
These families have had to contend with living in camps and rented houses. Others have had to be integrated with families and relatives living in dry areas.
The waters have also disrupted critical facilities like health facilities, markets, beaches and schools in the region.
Sadly, the bulging lake poses the threat of human-wildlife conflict and increases the chances of waterborne diseases like cholera. A surge in Malaria cases could also be attributed to the waters.
According to experts, the rising waters are as a result of climate change which has affected the season rotation and rain cycles.
Poor environmental conservation practices by people living on the shores of the lake have also been blamed as a cause of the rising waters.
Boats at the shore of Lake Victoria.