Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rivers Dry - Crisis Looms

This story, the illegal logging and destruction of the Aberdare forest has a history of its own. In 1999 people could see that the smaller rivers were drying up, and yet the exploitation and greed continued until today. In Kenya, the exploitation and degradation of the forest and water catchment areas have lead to a water crisis, and without water there is no life.

BBC News - July 10 2009 - A severe water shortage in in Kenya's capital Nairobi is being compounded by low water levels in Ndakaini Dam, which feeds the city with water. The dam has a capacity of 70m cubic metres but it is now down to just more than 26m cubic metres.

Environmentalists are attributing the low water levels to the failed rains and the destruction of the Aberdare forest catchment area in Central Province. Three of the four rivers that flow from the Aberdare forest to feed the Ndakaini Dam have dried up.

Rampant Logging Endangers Aberdare Forest - Nairobi (The Nation, January 6, 1999) - Saw-millers are gutting the Aberdare Forest, threatening water catchment areas. Trucks are penetrating the interior of the forest to fetch timber products. A team of journalists touring Zaina, Kabage and Njoguini areas of the Aberdare ranges found large clear patches arising from logging.

No signs of re-afforestation were noted. At one section, the saw-millers have cleared a large patch under pinus patula, which are less than 10 years old, making small streams dry up. The Press saw more than six lorries ferrying logs towards Nyeri Town. The targeted trees include pines, red cider and muhuru.

A Destroyed Forest
Islam Online - June 11 2007 - The expansion of Nairobi and other urban centers fueled the flames of profiteering from Kereita forest as they offered ready markets for its timber and charcoal products. "The Kereita forest destruction is an epitome of the wanton degradation that has reduced millions of hectares of most African forests to barren lands," said Nganga.

Kenya: Crisis looms as water sources dry up
Nairobi - July 9 2009 - An acute shortage of water resources has hit Kenya pushing the country into a crisis as water sources dry up in what experts say is a looming ecological disaster. The shortage has been complicated by drying up of water sources including rivers, lakes , dams ,wells and springs and worsened by a an ongoing 10 month drought. The result is that, households in cities and villages are going without water for days as pastoralists clash and kill each other over few remaining water points in arid parts of the country.