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Water for Flowers

Its waters covering about 50 square miles5 of Kenya‚ Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha (elevation 6,200 feet) sits 62 miles north of Nairobi. Communities thrived along its shores 4,000 years ago. The Maasai people long grazed their cattle along the lake‚ banks.6

Unless they are stopped, the flower agribusiness operations on Lake Naivasha will destroy the lake itself, the community dependent upon it, and the entire ecosystem of the watershed. It is time for consumers in Europe to understand that every time they buy a rose grown on Lake Naivasha, they help destroy —- perhaps forever — the exquisite place where Isaak Dinesen‚ Out of Africa was filmed. Similar stories abound in other countries of Africa and Latin America where local water sources are being siphoned to provide flowers for export to Europe and North America. It is a practice that must be stopped.

Lake Naivasha has immense potential for sustainable, small, scale agriculture and eco-tourism that could protect both the lake and the livelihoods of the communities around it. The former would promote food security for Kenyans; the latter would attract even more local and foreign visitors who would help the local economy while causing little or no damage to the environment. Lake Naivasha is surrounded by wildlife and such attractions as Hells Gate National Park, Mount Longonot National Park, the Ol Njorowa Gorge, and Mount Eduru. A living lake will sustain this ecosystem into the future; a dead lake will take down the entire area and its inhabitants.

The choice is clear. Join us in fighting to save Lake Naivasha now.