Fish from Lake Nakuru is unfit for human consumption according to a report by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI).
According to studies conducted on the water body, the fish was rotting within three hours while consumers interviewed had complained of skin rashes.
To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture has called on Nakuru County government to move in and ban fishing in the lake whose water levels have risen sharply in the last one year.
The move comes at a time when tens of fishermen from parts of the country have relocated to the lake where fish production is at its highest.
According to the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry Linah Chebii Kilimo, high pollution in the lake could have caused the current crisis.
She confirmed that the ministry had received the report from the research institute adding that the ball lay with the county government.
“The report from Kemfri confirms that fish from Lake Nakuru is unfit for human consumption and it may cause diseases in the future,” she said.
Chebii was speaking after leading a successful restocking exercise in Lake Naivasha where the Ministry has donated over 100,000 fingerlings for the exercise.
She admitted that the lake faced tens of challenges and pointed to overfishing, illegal fishing and water hyacinth as the ones.
“During Covid-19 pandemic many people lost their jobs and they turned to the lake leading to an increase in illegal fishing which has adversely affected the fisheries sector,” she said.
The CAS noted that the government was keen to second the Kenya Coast Guards to the lake so as to contain the rising cases of illegal fishing.
“Over 15 people have lost their lives while illegally fishing in the lake and it’s time that we stopped these illegal cases by increasing patrols,” she said.
She added that the government was keen to support the fisheries sector which employed thousands of people in the inland water bodies and oceans.
On her part, the CEC for Agriculture in Nakuru County Dr Immaculate Maina termed Lake Naivasha as a critical water body where 250metric tonnes were netted last year.
She added that the county made over Sh300m from fish last year adding that they were keen to increase that to Sh1B this year despite an increase in challenges like illegal fishing.
“We have already restocked Lake Solai and all fishing ponds in the county with fingerlings as one way of increasing fish production and revenue,” she said.