NAIVASHA’S EAGLES

More African Fish Eagles nest in Kenya’s Lake Naivasha than anywhere in the world, reaching an all time high of 200 individuals in 2016.

Kenyan born scientist, Dr. Munir Virani has studied one eagle family for a quarter century. For countless dawns he’s witnessed their thrilling fishing dives and ear piercing calls.

But all is not well in the eagles’ home. Unplanned growth, raw sewage and pollution from flower farms threaten Kenya’s most valuable freshwater ecosystem. 100 tons of flowers are exported to Europe everyday, but native aquatic plants are disappearing, and water hyacinth is choking Naivasha’s shores.

In twenty five years Lake Naivasha has seen unprecedented habitat degradation. Duck numbers have dropped ten fold and two species of critically endangered water birds have completely disappeared. The “Clean up Naivasha” campaign was launched to fix an ecological emergency. Five years later little has changed. Raw sewage, illegal fishing and pollution still threaten this Rift Valley jewel.

But somehow Naivsha’s eagles are thriving. It’s an enigma that Dr. Virani will decipher in an upcoming documentary called “Resilience” produced for AKU’s Environmental Reporting Programme and The Peregrine Fund.

Web page by Belva Digital. Photos by Munir Virani.