Fighting for Lake Turkana
Why Kenyan communities are resisting Gibe 3 Dam
- Download Fighting For Lake Turkana (PDF)
- Lake Turkana community members
Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, supports 300,000 people and a delicate ecosystem surrounded by otherwise harsh and isolated lands. Ethiopia’s Omo River is Lake Turkana’s most precious source of freshwater, providing up to 90% of the lake’s inflow. The Omo’s contribution allows a delicate stability to the water level of the lake, which has no outlet and endures a high rate of evaporation.
The Gibe 3 Dam under construction on the Omo River could cause Lake Turkana's level to drop up to 12 meters, threatening an ecological collapse. Six recognized, indigenous communities - Dasanech, El Molo, Gabra, Rendille, Samburu and Turkana - depend on the lake to support their fishing and herding livelihoods. Many also rely on the lake as a primary source of drinking water and water for household use.
From 23 March to 2 April 2010, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (CRBM) and International Rivers undertook a field visit to the Lake Turkana area in collaboration with Friends of Lake Turkana. Fighting for Lake Turkana provides testimony from affected communities and a detailed context about the fragile social and natural environments which could devolve into widespread conflict if Lake Turkana suffers the expected impacts of Ethiopia's Gibe 3 Dam.