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A carpentry workshop and showroom have been suggested by the Baringo Community – and a venue has been made available – to create micro-enterprise and livelihood opportunities for Baringo youth, as well as for the thousands of households that have lost their livelihoods due to climate related displacement. Included are manufacturing and selling of furniture, providing carpentry services to the Baringo Community and beyond, and more.
As shared by the community, immediate needs include desks, tables, and chairs for the schools that have to be relocated after being swallowed by the rising waters of Lake Baringo.
Requests have also been received to manufacture sturdy and more resilient boats for fishermen working on Lake Baringo. In addition, solid and strong boats are needed to transport school children from the lake shores to their schools since bridges have been destroyed by the lake’s rising waters. Building new bridges is also part of the growing needs.
Lake Baringo, located in Kenya’s Rift Valley, is one of the country’s biggest freshwater lakes. It has doubled in size over the last few years, from 128 to the current 204 square kilometers, due to unusually heavy rainfall in the lake’s catchment zones with water levels rising sharply by more than 60 per cent. Many buildings have been swallowed by the rising and expanding lake, and communities have been pushed out, forcing thousands to move. As the lake has been getting bigger, the crocodile population has multiplied. There has also been an increase in the number of hippos, who bathe near the shores, ever closer to people’s homes. This has magnified the risk to people’s lives, with children being dragged into the lake by crocodiles, never to be seen again.
Families have lost ancestral land, farms, and livestock, and have been exposed to waterborne diseases. And the lake keeps moving and expanding: “Many things have been changing gradually. We never used to have floods, and rainy seasons were predictable. We would farm and get our food. Nowadays when it rains, we experience loss and destruction.”
In the wake of their swelling, the waters from the lakes have destroyed social amenities including learning institutions, health facilities, markets, fish landing and processing facilities, once-thriving hotels, curio shops, resorts and lodges, electricity lines, water supply and sanitation units as well as road networks in several areas.
More than 15 schools bordering the lake may need to be relocated after water levels rose drastically, swallowing adjacent structures. Among the affected schools are Salabani Secondary, Ng’ambo Girls, Lake Bogoria Girls, Ng’ambo Primary, Sintaan, Leswa, Lorok, Loruk Loropil, Noosukro, Kiserian, Sokotei and Salabani primary schools.