The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Overflooding Lake Bongoria threatens Endorois Minority group in Kenya

Lake Bogoria water levels are rising dangerously, threatening the lives of Mochongoi Ward residents living around the water body, in Baringo county of Kenya, especially members of the Endorois community.

For the Endorois people this is like jumping from the pot into the fire because they had just been granted compensation due to eviction from their ancestral land after winning their case at the Arusha-based African Court for Human and People’s Rights.

The population of the minority group of Endorois is around 20,000 members and are said to be on the verge of extinction.

Lake Bogoria’s overflowing waters are reducing the lives of the Endorois into an aquatic disaster.

Floods are currently submerging residential houses, shops, health centers, electricity supplies, farmland, tourist resorts and other properties.

Cases of Malaria, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other waterborne diseases are reported to be on the rise.

With much of the grazing land under water, wild animals are being driven to seek pastures in residential areas pitting them against mostly local farmers in the emerging cases of Human-Wildlife Conflicts.

Since its water levers started to swell, Lake Bogoria surface area is reported to have more than doubled.

Samuel Kiptek is an elder of the Endorois community, who is now calling upon legislators and government authorities to assist the community members in getting compensation for their ancestral land.

“With the land being submerged our life has to imagine living In place where you can’t do any development, forced to trek over 20 kilometers for essential services and supplies,” lamented Kiptek.

He pointed out that if this goes on, the tribe will be rendered extinct in less than a decade from now.

The African Court ruling in Arusha affirmed that the Kenyan government had violated the African Charter on human Rights in evicting the Endoros from their land.

The case represents the first legal recognition of an African indigenous people.

Geoffrey Kerosi East Africa Project Coordinator on  Minority Rights Group Africa  calls for stakeholders to address the recommendations that the Kenya Government recognize the Endorois community’s right of ownership of their ancestral lands, restitute to the Endorois their ancestral lands and compensate them for their losses.

“I support the move that the Community  should have unlimited access to Lake Bogoria National Reserve (LBNR) and benefit from the royalties and employment opportunities within the game reserve. “Said Mr Geoffrey.

Mr Billy  Rwothungeyo Africa Media Officer, Minority RIGHTS Group (MRG) is calling for the current Kenyan regime to address the land injustices that happened to the Endorois community  especially when now another calamity has hit on climate change .

“The  non-implementation of the recommendations of the Endorois Decision has negatively impacted the community’s livelihoods, consigning many of its members to severe poverty, illiteracy, poor health and a life of destitution.” Billy  Media relations  Officer.–

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