Aiming at The Prize:
The Upcoming Lake Kanyaboli - Yala Swamp Ecosystem Run got a major boost. This was when it was endorsed by world cross marathon gold medalist Benjamin Limo. He went round the marathon course on a familiarization visitation which was graced by the tree planting on the shores of Lake Kanyaboli at grounds of the proposed Benjamin Limo Sports Complex.
The Yala Swamp Ecosystem
The Yala Swamp ecosystem is degrading at an alarming rate. This urgently calls for a robust, comprehensive community-driven development and environmental friendly investments. SOPA International together with other stakeholders advocates for scientifically safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable wealth creation. It is for this reason that SOPA International in collaboration with Athletics Kenya (AK) and its partners is organizing for the Lake Kanyaboli - Yala Swamp Ecosystem Run. This shall a half marathon run (21km) scheduled for 8th August 2015 in Kanyaboli, Siaya County.
It is expected that the Half Marathon will be an annual event with the potential of culmination a full international marathon. This will ensure lasting support for the nature conservation and development initiatives and continued community engagement. Growing awareness about the benefits of ecosystem preservation in the Lake Kanyaboli - Yala Swamp region will result in increased efforts towards conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
- - County Government of Siaya
- - Athletics Kenya (AK)
- - Nature Kenya
- - Beyond Parks Initiative
- - Kenya Wildlife Service
- - National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)
- - Obama Sevens
- - Dominion Farms
- - Kenya Forests Services
- - Kenya Tourism Board (KTB)
- - Sport/Athletics celebrities
- - Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism
- - Potential Partners: Corporates, Community Based Organizations, Non Governmental Organizations, Faith Based Organizations)
According to the Environmental Impact Assesment by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) this would lead to irreversible environmental hazards on the three lakes namely; Kanyaboli, Sare and Namboyo. Papyrus reeds, the swamp’s most common vegetation would disappear; Sitatunga, a semi aquatic antelope, and birds and fish species such as mud fish, cat fish, tilapia and others would be extinct. Moreover, the Yala swamp is performing a natural filtering function, purifying the Yala river water before it enters the lake Kanyaboli, the satellite lakes of Namboyo and Sare and then Lake Victoria as its final destination. Local communities may also face a situation in which they do not have an adequate access to clean water as a result of the lost swamp.