An environmentalist has sued the Kisumu County and Nyanza Golf Club for encroachment on riparian land.
Michael Nyaguti, chairman of Magnam Environment Network, accuses the two parties of possessing the wetland area at the mouth of River Kisat without “properly convening public” participation or getting the relevant documents.
The county government and the club had announced plans of jointly undertaking lakefront development projects targeting the hospitality industry within Kisumu city.
Mr Nyaguti says the two acted without wide stakeholder involvement and did not involve the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), Water Resources Authority (WRA). “Environmental impact assessment has not been carried out and no licence has been issued by Nema and the National Construction Authority as required law for a project of this magnitude,” argues Mr Nyaguti.
The environmentalist further states that the illegal reclamations are harmful to the wetland ecosystem and detrimental to the fish breeding ground.
The retrieval will further expose the lake water to direct contamination due to destruction of the vegetation that helps purify the sewage in River Kisat and other hard metallic municipal runoff waste, Mr Nyaguti argues.
The wetland, he notes is a source of livelihoods providing raw materials for mat and basket making. For the fishermen communities, it will lead to destitution, he adds.
Mr Nyaguti has consequently requested the Kisumu Environment and Land Court to permanently restrain the parties from engaging in any activity that may be harmful to the riparian wetland.
“The parties should also be compelled to vacate the wetlands and cease any activity that may be harmful to the wetland ecosystem and thereafter, a restoration order be directed to the respondents to restore the wetlands to its original status,” he requested.
The court gave orders that an application be served for an inter-parties hearing on a date that was to be fixed since the judge was away for the Easter recess holiday.