History of Naivasha in Nakuru-Kenya

2 min readMay 30, 2021


Naivasha place of cool waters

Naivasha is a town in Nakuru county, which lies north west of Naairobi. It is part of the great riftvalley. The name derives from the local Maasai name Naiposha, meaning “rough water beacuse of the sudden storms which can rise.

In the late 1970s-1980s lake Naivasha was overrun with poachers and foreign creatures introduced into the lake to provide fishing. The migratory paths along lake Naivasha were being destroyed by the local rose industry.

History of Lake Naivasha

It is believe that some 6000–13000 years ago, Lake Naivasha was part of a much larger lake that encompasses the present lakes Elementaita and Nakuru, and discarded down the riftvalley southwards. The lake is a fresh water lake with a catchment of 2378km2. other temporally water courses discent from the frosted slopes of Oldoinyo Opuru ridges and extends esatwards from mau escarpment, across the valley north of the lake.

The principle water supply to the lake is from Aberdare mountains. Two rivers drain these areas and enter the lake. The Malewa river has a cathment of 1730km2 and provides 90% of the inlow. Ground water seepage, particularly along the north and nothreast shores is reputedly responsible for upto 16% of the total influx. There is probably a sub-terranean drainage system, but this has yet to be verified.

Lake Naivasha was designated as a RAMSAR site in 1995 and is manged by the local property owners under the lake naivasha riparian association formed in 1934. the lake provides diverse habitats for a variety of mammals, birds and fish (tilapia, blackbass and crayfish).

Fishery is conducted for both commercial and domestic purpose. Commercial fishery makes an annual production of 75tonnes valued nat kshs 2.5 million. the lake provides approximately 50*1.0.6m3 of water for irrigation which supports one of the most expansive horticulture industry in this part of the world and which employs more than 250,000 people.

The horticulture exports are the second largest foreign exchange earner for this contry after tourism. Tourism is also a major sector in the lake and its catchment basin. The lake environment is fragile but dynamic and supports tourism ans geothermal power generation from deep-rooted stream jets among other economic activities.

Lake Naivasha’s biodiversity is critically threated by human induced factors including habitat dstruction, pollution from pesticides,herbicides and fertilers, sewage effluent, livestock feeding lots, acaricides and water abstraction.

A population of over 250,000 people lives around the lake. This high population has encroached wetlands and converted them into agricultural lands, residential areas and tourist hotels. The continued harvesting of papyrus reeds along edges has in parrticular destroyed the natural state of the lake. Current research findings show that the lake cannot sustain development activities on the scale seen over the last 15 years.




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