Kenya discovers vast water source

2013-09-11 16:53
Water drilling rig Kenya. (Unesco)

Water drilling rig Kenya. (Unesco)

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Cape Town - Five giant aqifers or underground lakes of water have been identified in the dry Turkana region of Kenya using remote sensing and actual drilling.

An exploration of groundwater resources has identified reserves of water in Turkana County in drought-stricken northern Kenya. The findings are the result of a groundwater mapping project, GRIDMAP (Groundwater Resources Investigation for Drought Mitigation in Africa Programme), spearheaded by Unesco in partnership with the government of Kenya and with the financial support of the Government of Japan.

Two of the aquifers were identified using satellite exploration technology. Their existence was then confirmed by drilling conducted recently by Unesco.

The  Lotikipi Basin Aquifer is located west of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent desert lake. On its own, Lotikipi could potentially increase Kenya’s strategic water reserves.

The smaller Lodwar Basin Aquifer could serve as a strategic reserve for the development of Lodwar, the capital of Turkana County, provided  the reserve is confirmed.

Three additional aquifers have also been identified in other parts of Turkana but have not yet been confirmed by drilling and would also need to be  assessed using complementary techniques. 

Unesco reports research will need to be done to enable a more accurate assessment of the aquifers and their potential contribution to Kenya’s economic development.

Announcing the findings during the opening session of the Unesco Strategic and High-Level Meeting on Water Security and Co-operation, Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, said that the results were a critical scientific breakthrough for the country.

Read more on:    unesco  |  kenya  |  water

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