Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya

Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.

The Lotikipi Basin Aquifer is located west of Lake Turkana, the world's largest permanent desert lake, which nonetheless contains alkaline and unpalatable water. The second discovery is the smaller Lodwar Basin Aquifer.

"This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole," said Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. "We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations," she said.

"If we use the water sustainably, when it comes to water resources we become very secure," Wakhungu said.

UNESCO says 40 percent of Kenya's 41 million people lack access to safe water, and 28 million do not have adequate sanitation.

NPR's Warner says the subterranean lakes, shaped as scientists describe like a short stack of "interconnected pancakes," are naturally replenished by mountain rain.

"But getting the water to the people could be a challenge," he says. "Turkana is the least developed region of Kenya, just south of a disputed border region and scene of frequent deadly tribal clashes."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Buzz Bissinger: With Caitlyn Jenner, 'You Feel A Connection'

NPR's Melissa Block interviews Buzz Bissinger about his profile of Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair and her gender transition. She is formerly known as Bruce, an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon.
NPR

Grass Gourmands: A Herbivore Food Mystery On The African Savanna

A new study sheds light on a longstanding ecological question: How do so many species like impalas and elephants co-exist when they're all feeding on the same limited foods?
NPR

Pro-Warren Group Disbands, As Senator Splits Again With Obama

A group pushing Elizabeth Warren to run for president moves on and "declares victory" in advancing her positions. But Warren is already on to new fights.
NPR

Coming Soon: More Ads On Instagram, And a "Buy" Feature On Pinterest

Pinterest will launch an in-app "buy" button, and Instagram will soon target ads using demographic data from Facebook.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.