The Daily Nation, the largest daily of Kenya, has started in these days the publication of a journalistic investigation on the conditions of Lake victoria, 59.947 Sq km, the second freshwater lake of the planet by extension, the waters of which reach down to the Mediterranean, brought from the White Nile, which has its origin from the same waters. The lake has a catchment area that includes parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Its surface is divided between Uganda (45%), Tanzania (49%) and Kenya (6%).
The river Kisat and the waste of the city of Kisumu. The investigation was launched on the 17th of February with the full page photo of a fisherman who observes the waters muddy, surmounted by the title shocking: Lake of poison Lake poison). Inside, a dossierdi 16-page summary in the title Rotting from the deep (Marcio from deep), unfortunately, rich of information and definitely a concern. The survey is introduced by an article dedicated to some of the biggest sources of pollution in the lake coming from the coast of kenya. It mentions the river Kisat, which collects virtually all of the human wastes and the industrial waste produced by the city of Kisumu, the third in the country after Nairobi and Mombasa. The river dump into the lake, all the sewage passing from the sewage treatment plant of the Water and Sewerage Company (Kiwasco), which then pump the same water not far away and cleans to sell it to hundreds of thousands of people in the region.
The examples are numerous.
In the lake of the waste from the sewer of a prison. Ends up in the lake, but also the sewer of the prison of maximum security Kodiaga, where there are about 3 thousand people, including inmates, guards and other staff. The sewer system, built in the fifties, in the colonial era, no longer works since 2008 and from then on, no intervention is planned to prevent the sewage from going into the nearby river Saka, which flows into the lake.
The sewage of a university. The same happens to the sewage produced by the university Masen, is attended by thousands of students, where there is a system of treatment of black waters. The list is still very long. This type of pollution is also added that is produced by the industry of agribusiness, very well-developed throughout the region.
Altered the deep waters of the lake. The researchers hired by the Daily Nation - professor James Mbaria, 26 years of experience in pharmacology and toxicology, and dr. Nduhiu Gitahi, expert in the management of human waste, food safety, and quality of water for domestic purposes - has found that pollution reaches even the deep water in the centre of the lake. A detailed table shows the elements identified in numerous locations, both in the waters of Kenya-Uganda.
13 toxic elements. The specialists will have identified at least 13 toxic elements, harmful not only for aquatic plants, fish and other aquatic animals, but also for the man. Fishing, the most important activity for the coastal people and is also significant in the economy of the country, could be dramatically affected.
heavy Metals and pesticides in fish. In the samples of fish examined have been found traces above the international limits of 13 heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, iron, copper and manganese. Were also found traces of 19 pesticides - the pyridaphenthion, an insecticide used in agriculture, is present in 80% of samples of fish examined - for which there is not for now a standard, globally accepted, with regard to the presence in food products for human consumption.
A tragedy that affects 30 million people. Moreover, 92% of all the water samples examined are results polluted by bacteria that, if ingested, can cause serious infections. Are samples of water that the community living in the vicinity of lake use on a daily basis. Needless to say, the influence of pollution on the environmental problems, such as the proliferation of water hyacinth and other weeds, fertilized by the sewage, on the economic ones, such as reduced abundance of fish in the lake and the quality of the fish that reaches the markets of the region, on the increasingly poor quality of life of the populations, in particular those along the river, but also of the approximately 30 million living in the basin of the lake and depend upon its economy.
The next installment of the investigation. , not to speak of health, not only of those who live on the lake, but also of those who consume its products, yet appreciated, both in Kenya and in Uganda and Tanzania. It will be, we hope, the next installment of an investigation that is particularly accurate and are of great interest not only for kenyans, but for all those who have at heart the health, and ultimately the salvation, of our Planet.
* Bruna Sironi writes for Nigrizia
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