Govt Intervenes After Mysterious Vessel Invades Lake Victoria

  • An image of a fisherman
    A fisherman casting his net in Lake Victoria.
  • Residents living on the shows of Lake Victoria are relieved after the government intervened following complaints regarding a strange vessel that has been sighted in the waters.

    The residents claims the vessel has been sighted undertaking strange dredging activities in the shores of the lake.

    A statement by Lake Victoria Tourism Association Kenya (LVTA-K) on Monday, February 15, indicated that the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) was investigating the matter.

    "Following the uproar in the public domain vis a vis the dredging and sand harvesting happening on the beaches of Takawiri Island, LVTA leadership led by Chairman Robinson Anyal have initiated actions to conclusively address the matter," read the statement in part.

    Takawiri Sandy Beaches on Lake Victoria
    Takawiri Sandy Beaches on Lake Victoria

    There was an uproar after the vessel was seen harvesting white sand from the lake hence endangering the lake's sandy beaches.

    The residents noted that the vessel had a capacity 700,000 tonnes and were concerned that the owners had not secured license to carry out the activities.

    They further noted that there was no public participation neither was there a conclusive environment impact assessment.

    "This humongous vessel is harvesting tonnes of our white sand from Takawiri Island and carting it away to an unknown destination," complained a concerned citizen.

    LVTA also noted that it was preparing legal action against the company responsible for the vessel.

    "LVTA is proceeding with legal action to ensure environmental conservancy as a key issue within our framework is taken seriously within the region.

    "We will continue to work together with relevant bodies to ensure the issue is addressed satisfactorily," continued the statement.

    This comes at a time when the government is trying to revitalise the lake into a commercial hub.

    In January, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) unveiled a refurbished ship that it revived at a cost of Ksh250 million in the lakeside city of Kisumu.

    The vessel, which is under the management of Kenya Railways Services, received the facelift in 2019 after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered KDF to intervene.

    Engineers work on MV Uhuru after it had stalled for approximately 13 years
    Engineers work on MV Uhuru after it had stalled for approximately 13 years.
    The Standard