The Government has warned Kenyans against consuming fish caught in Lake Nakuru, labelling it unfit for human consumption.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, January 24 Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs Salim Mvurya warned Kenyans against consuming fish caught from the Lake.
Mvurya who was speaking in Embu after holding talks with Governor Cecile Mbarire, highlighted recent tests conducted on fish sourced from the Lake.
He further noted that the tests indicated high levels of arsenic, a chemical compound found in most minerals.
“In the last Cabinet that we sat in Sagana, I made a presentation to confirm that the fish in Lake Nakuru is not fit for human consumption.
“We have fish that have demonstrated some 32 percent level of arsenic metal which is not good for human consumption,” said the Mining CS.
Also, a revised report from October 2022 conducted by four researchers, had raised concerns about the safety of fish harvested from the Rift Valley Lake.
Fish Labelled Unfit
According to Food Safety Africa, the study was led by Joseph Edebe, Mary Florence Nantongo, Julius Kipkemboi and Elick Otachi.
The study found that the fish from the lake contained dangerous chemicals, rendering it unfit for human consumption.
Additionally, the research involved collecting nine sediment and nine composite water samples, as well as 30 fish specimens, from five representative sampling sites within Lake Nakuru.
The findings confirmed the presence of selected organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in Nile tilapia, sediments and water.
According to the researchers, the residues found were rendered harmful, posing potential health risks to those consuming the fish.
In his address, Mvurya further confirmed that the findings revealed that fish from the lake is not suitable for human consumption, adding that his Ministry is looking into the matter.
“Therefore, we have formed a multi-agency team. The departments of fisheries and blue economy, the environment and others are looking into this matter,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that prolonged exposure to arsenic through the consumption of food and water can lead to the development of cancer and skin lesions.
Additionally, the chemical compound has been linked to different health complications.
These include diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with immediate symptoms of arsenic poisoning including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mining in Embu
Also, Mvurya revealed that the discussions with the Embu Governor had yielded initiatives aimed at spurring mining activities in the County.
He further asserted that once implemented, mining will bring collective benefits to the residents and the national government at large.
“We have already agreed with the county government and the national government officials based here that going forward, we will work together especially on the matter of illegal mining which is rampant in the country,” he said.