Mission to Kenya 2005

Friday, January 14, 2005


Sacred Lake, outskirts of Meru, Kenya

We drove out away from Meru to view Lake Nkunga and meet with a group of local citizens who are concerned that this historic site is becoming over grown and endangered.

The lake sits on 100 acres of land which has been set aside because it is the only route or corridor available to elephants when they migrate each year from Mount Kenya out to the grasslands; this is also the area where elephants mate each year.

Until 1963, the lake was very clear and pure but since then it has become contaminated.

This is a beautiful forest but the trees are getting cut down because it is not guarded or managed. There are no forests north of here in all of Africa.

The citizens' group wants to conserve this ecosystem, remove the grass that has grown up in the lake, maintain the forests (which are being depleted), and possibly eventually develop the area for tourism. They think a high quality hotel or set of cottages could be constructed where tourists could observe the elephants and other animals and appreciate the restful setting.

This is called a "sacred" lake because people used to worship big trees and mountains as symbols of "the god of the unknown."

There is a very long, very steep path that leads down to the lake. Throughout our visit, this path was actively in use by women and children climbing down to fill their 20 liter plastic water jugs.

The rural community depends on the lake and its springs as it is the only water source at present. In order to presenve the lake and surrounding area, the members of the Lake Nkunga Conservation Group want an alternative water source for the area communities developed. They have identified a site where they want to drill a bore hole.


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