Guests travel to Busia to view new lake


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The emergence of a lake formed by a mass of sinking land has created a buzz in Munongo village of Matayos, Busia County.

The swampy mass is surrounded by reeds and covers approximately 200 square metres on the Kenya-Ugandan border.

The phenomenon is a center of attraction for residents and people from the neighbouring Uganda.

The lake is about seven kilometres from Busia town and on Friday, hundreds of people were making their way there on foot, riding bicycles and motorcycles or driving cars.

Sixty-one year old Daniel Wanyama has lived there since the 1950s and says he has never had such a large amount of water, although he said a stream has always snaked its way through the area.

“This used to be a very small stream but recently we were shocked when water started filling the central part of the swamp. This has been going on for the last three weeks,” he said.

“There used to be a route here which European explorer James Grant used with his entourage on his way to Kampala, Uganda,” he added.

The water level has been rising for days without any sign of receding.

“We have seen a steady rise of water for the last three weeks and it is now at knee deep. The floor is still stable and as you have seen I was able to walk across without a problem,” he said.

Youth with an entrepreneurial bent have started cashing in from the steam of visitors trickling to the lake.

Part of a homestead 200 metres from the swamp has been set aside as a car park with charges ranging between Sh10 and Sh50.

“People have also asked where they can have a meal and that’s the reason why I am here to address their needs. I sell porridge and mandazis.

“Business has been good for the last one week I have been here,” said Ms Redempta Akinyi, a food vendor.

Over the years, residents of Munongo have been locked in a dispute over the ownership of the swamp.

The area has expanded waterways with no clear cut boundary between the two countries.

According to residents, the swamp has been a conduit for illegal goods which are ferried across the border.

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