The aim of this study was to outline and do a preliminary quantification of the impact of damming the Omo River on the communities of people settled around Lake Turkana and the potential resulting conflicts. Lake Turkana, Africa’s fourth largest lake and the world’s largest desert lake, is in Kenya’s northern arid and semi-arid lands. The lake is mainly sustained by the inflows of Ethiopia’s River Omo. The people in this region subsist mainly through pastoralism. The human and livestock population in this region has significantly risen over time. The Gibe III Project which included damming of the Omo River to create one of the world’s largest dams was completed in 2015. By the end of the project, the annual Omo River’s inflow to Lake Turkana was significantly reduced, following the filling of the reservoir formed by the River Omo’s gorge. The project threatens the livelihood of communities depending on Lake Turkana and its ecosystem. Remote sensing images were used to determine the changes of the lake and surrounding land. The GIS imagery used for this purpose was acquired from the USGS website. The images for different periods of time were paired for visual comparison and appreciation of changes with respect to years. Observations of imagery and preliminary measurements indicate significant lake boundary changes, indicating an overall decline. This decline has potential deleterious impact of the sustainability and livelihood of the people in areas surrounding Lake Turkana.
Author (s) Details
John Bosco Namwamba
Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources, Southern University and A&M College, 102 Fisher Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70813, USA
Dr. Yaw A. Twumasi
Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources, Southern University and A&M College, 102 Fisher Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70813, USA.
Dr. Fulbert Namwamba
Department of Geography and Geosciences, Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Ave, Salisbury, MD 21801, United States
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