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UN to study Kenya’s rising water levels in lakes

The United Nations will partner with Kenya to study the East Africa nation’s rising water levels in lakes, a UN official said on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Lake Victoria
Some 40 million people in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania depend directly or indirectly on the Lake Victoria

Walid Badawi, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Kenya, said in Nairobi that Lakes Baringo, Naivasha and parts of Lake Victoria have in recent times experienced a dangerous increase of water levels which have submerged homes and destroyed livelihoods.

“As UNDP, we are working with key stakeholders, under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to understand the underlying causes for these water level rises and to put in place measures to mitigate these impacts and to prevent a future reoccurrence of these man-made pressures on the environment,’’

Badawi said this during the launch of the Human Development Report 2020, the next frontier, Human Development and the Anthropocene.

Badawi said that Africa’s largest inland body of water, Lake Victoria, which is shared by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, hit the highest level ever recorded in mid-May 2020, submerging parts of towns and whole villages on its banks.

He observed that the UNDP and Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, were finalising a comprehensive report assessing the causes and the impacts of these lake level rises that will soon be launched.

Badawi said that though humanity has achieved incredible progress, we have taken the earth for granted as a result; our planet and societies are flashing red.

“Our actions are driving not just climate change and biodiversity collapse, but ocean acidification, air and water pollution and land degradation.

“We are destabilising the very systems upon which we rely on for survival at unprecedented speed and scale as witnessed through numerous incidents,’’ he added.

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