- Fishers and business community are counting heavy losses as a result of the surging lake.
- The water level has risen to unprecedented levels, from 500 to 800 metres.
Some 24,320 people living on the shores of Lake Turkana have been displaced by rising water, the county government has said.
The water level has hit an unprecedented level, rising from 500 to 800 metres. It has flooded beaches, hotels, homes and government offices.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok said the affected residents are in Kerio, Kangatotha, Kalokol and Lake Zone wards. The rising lake threatens the livelihoods of 500,000 people.
“To this effect, my government and partners have come up with a comprehensive contingency plan for managing the expected spillover of the dam and rising water level of Lake Turkana,” he said during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Lodwar on Tuesday.
Fishers and the business community are counting heavy losses as a result of the surging lake.
Peter Ejore, a fisher and resident of Kalokol, said the swelling lake has affected their source of livelihoods as they cannot catch fish.
“The lake is still swelling. We are worried about what is going to happen next. We depend on fishing for survival but since the lake started rising we cannot drop fishing nets in the lake,” he said.
He said the water has destroyed fresh fish storage facilities equipped with refrigerators, dry fish stores, beach management unit offices as well as boats and nets that have been swept away.
Esther Lochodo, a resident of Kalokol, appealed to national and county governments and humanitarian agencies for provision of relief food.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, we are struggling with life and with this lake surging and destroying our livelihoods, we need support from government and other partners in provision of food,” she said.
Leah Achuka from Kalokol said the swelling lake has disrupted fishing.
Residents have been exposed to crocodiles and hippos as human-wildlife conflict worsens.
“Our homesteads were submerged by the swelling lake. We are spending our nights along the shores of the lake as it continues to expand and with poor hygiene there are also fears of waterborne disease,” she said.
Edited by Henry Makori