9 September 2006

Kenya: Thousands of Flamingos Migrate to Lake Naivasha

Nairobi — Thousands of flamingos have migrated from Lake Nakuru to Lake Naivasha.

Experts fear for the fresh water lake, saying the presence of the flamingos is an indicator of a "dead lake".

Mr David Kilo of the Lake Naivasha anti-poaching unit says the birds were first noticed in the area mid last month.

By yesterday, hundreds of birds had died. Kilo could not explain the mysterious deaths.

He said the deaths could be as a result of change in weather and long flight.

Kilo, who has been a fisherman for the last 15 years, said this was the first time the birds have migrated to the lake in such large numbers.

"At first we thought it was the normal migration on their way to Lake Natron but this is different," he said.

He said the water had turned green due to the bird's droppings.

Kilo cautioned the locals against eating the birds, fearing a disease out break.

Hundreds of flamingos have died in Lake Nakuru due to what veterinarians have termed as bacterial infection.

Meanwhile, environmental experts, business people and scholars yesterday launched an initiative to save Lake Nakuru from extinction.

The initiative dubbed "Conservation partnership for prosperity" plans to raise Sh12million through an event on September 23 at the Lake Nakuru National Park.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) assistant director, Ms Ann Kahihia said the money would be used to sensitise the community living around the park on the importance of conservation.

Lake Nakuru National Park is now one of the highest income earners for KWS. It generates Sh100 million a month.

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof James Tuitoek said a study conducted by the university showed that the lake was under threat.

"But we will work with the community living around the lake to conserve the environment to save the lake's ecosystem," he said.

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