Naivasha – Over 3,000 fish-mongers around Lake Naivasha want the government to compulsory acquire one of the largest corridor leading to Karagita landing beach.
The traders and leaders noted that the closure of the corridor could lead to massive job losses to tens of families who relied on the lake for their daily bread.
The move follows a ruling by the High Court in Nakuru that the controversial corridor located off the Moi South Lake road and into the beach was a private property.
This followed a prolonged court dispute between an investor and fishermen who have been operating around the beach for years.
Speaking after holding a meeting at the beach, the traders expressed their fears over the ownership of the corridor and called on the county to intervene.
Area MCA Njuguna Njenga termed the ruling as shocking adding that they had already filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The Hellsgate ward MCA noted that colonial maps clearly indicated that the disputed parcel of land was a corridor and wondered how the investor came to own it.
“This beach is the mainstay of thousands of people in Karagita estate and its closure means that families will sleep hungry,” he said.
According to former Lakeview MCA Simon Wanyoike, the only solution to the dispute was through compulsory acquisition as envisaged in the law.
Wanyoike noted that the corridor was critical to the economy of Naivasha due to the high number of persons that benefitted from the lake directly and indirectly.
“We are calling in the national government to come to the rescue of these families by compulsory acquiring this corridor,” he said.
He noted over twenty corridors around the trouble lake had been grabbed by investors mainly flower farmers and called on the National Land Commission to intervene.
“We have seen a new trend where some people are grabbing riparian land around the lake and the county government should move in and kick them out,” he said.
One of the traders Grace Nyambura told of their worry as the county government and area Mp had not spoken about the sensitive issue.
She said that the beach was one of the busiest around Lake Naivasha with nearby towns of Nakuru and Nairobi relying for fish from the beach.
“We have families which we support from the income from this landing beach and the ruling by High Court will leave us jobless,” she said.