Filmmaker: Ton van Zantvoort

A bouquet of flowers can bring delight to its recipient - but for many Kenyans living around Lake Naivasha's huge commercial flower farms, these sweet-smelling blooms bring human exploitation and ecological destruction.

The flower farms on the shores of Lake Naivasha produce tonnes of blooms for the flower markets of Europe, but they also cause much suffering to the communities around them.

A cast of local characters bears witness to the grim realities behind the global flower industry: Jane works day and night to feed her children, but like many other female workers she frequently faces sexual harassment, and Agnes was severely scarred from chemical exposure. Oscar, who was fired from the packing factory, now sells water from the lake to survive, even though it is contaminated by the pesticides used in the farms. And Kennedy struggles as a fisherman as the lake's level drops and weeds run rampant.

It is a bleak picture of how the international desire for fresh cut flowers is wreaking havoc amongst the growers.

Blooming Business aired from Sunday, September 5, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera