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July 24, 2024
Featured News Projects Sanitation

Lake Victoria set to get a fresh lease of life

The Kenyan government has started dredg ing the water body to ease vessel navigation and improve transportation at the lake. A-
70-metre-long dredging vessel with the capacity to
carry 4,000 tonnes, arrived in Kisumu on Thursday
to begin the exercise.
The project, which starts today, will also include
eradication of water hyacinth and removal of sediments to open up the lakeside port.
African Union High Representative for Infrastructure
Development, Raila Odinga, launched the project
which seeks to open up Winam Gulf which has been
invaded by the weed, extending to Homa Bay County.
Speaking at the Kisumu Port after docking of the
dredging vessel, Kenya Ports Authority head of
Inland Waterways Javan Wanga said the shoreline
would be drilled to at least six metres to allow berthing of heavily loaded ships.
“The government is committed to revitalising the
lake for optimisation of the blue economy and make
the lake beneficial to the economy of the region,”
said Wanga.
“The pier has accumulated residues over the years
and has made some areas shallow up to a level of between 1.5 and three metres deep,” he said.
Lake Victoria has a maximum depth of between 80
and 84 metres (276 ft)[12][9] and an average depth of
40 metres (130 ft).
Water hyacinth has become a major invasive plant
species in the lake and while it is native to the continent of South America, human activity has introduced the greenery to Lake Victoria, where it has
negatively affected local ecosystems.
Last month, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o
issued an executive order banning washing of vehicles along the shores of Lake Victoria and major
water bodies in the county.
“The year 2019 is a year to deal with hyacinth finally
and decisively and this I promise I will do. Henceforth,
there shall be no washing of cars in the lake or on
any river within the county of Kisumu,”said Governor
Nyong’o during Jamhuri day celebrations in Kisumu.
He noted that water hyacinth was threatening the
potential of the blue economy by endangering maritime transport and fishing activities.

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