Lake Magadi, Kenya’s only source of soda ash, could vanish in the next five years, environmental experts have warned.
The lake is facing imminent extinction due to increased human activity leading to siltation, according to a report by the National Environment and Complaints Committee (NECC).
NECC secretary Dr. John Chumo said heightened degradation activities through cultivation have been observed in all of the lake’s five catchment areas in Narok County including Nairagie-Enkare, Kormoto, Oloitip, Suswa, and Oltapot.
“The upper catchment areas are 2,000 meters above sea level, making the lake vulnerable to siltation due to soil deposits carried by River Kisamis downwards,” Dr. Chumo said.
The committee established that 30 percent of the water body is already covered by silt. The lake earns Kenya in excess of Sh5 billion in forex annually in addition to supporting livelihoods in the area.
The lake has shrunk in size for the past 15 years and experts warn it will cease to exist in five years’ time if no measures are taken to protect it.
Chumo has called for concerted efforts between the Ministry of Environment, Lands, Water, and Transport to save the precious lake.