Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake, if you stand on the edge you might think it is not a lake but the edge of a bumpy ocean. Indeed, Lake Turkana has big waves like an ocean, and its beaches are sandy. All this makes this lake as if it is called the sea. It is the largest alkaline lake and the largest desert lake in the world with an outside area of about 7000 square km. The local people don’t even call it a lake, they call it a Jade ocean, because of the turquoise color of the water.
Location of Lake Turkana
This lake is located in the northern kenya gap valley. The source of water is from the three rivers that flow through it, these three rivers are the Omo of Ethiopia, the Kerio, and the Turkwel. Lake Turkana extends from north to south. Its size is 249 km from the north to the south, while the width is 44 km when measured at the widest part, while the depth is 30 meters. In the past, about 4 or 8 thousand years ago, this vast lake stretched for more than 400 km from the Omo valley to the Baringo.
During this period the river which supplied the lake experienced an outlet. The river flows to the northwest and then the water joins the Nile. This causes Lake Turkana to eventually shrink due to insufficient water supply or because the incoming water is not balanced. Since the river had found its way to the Nile, Turkana became a shrinking and smaller lake.
It is indeed in the desert, but this lake is just like the real ocean. it has strong winds and storms. Onshore and offshore winds can be very strong as lakes warm and cool more slowly than land. In this lake there are often severe storms so that it is often used as a place for those who like the outdoors.
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Lake Turkana is surrounded by an arid desert which at sight does not exist. But in this lake there is so much wild life. Turkana is home to the wild Hippopotamus crocodile, Hippopotamus, and also home to hundreds of the largest birds and fish. Meanwhile, the surrounding, which is shaped like rock and sand, turns out to be a living place for poisonous carpet snakes and scorpions. Now this lake is also the place of dependence of about 1/4 million local traditional people, they depend on this lake as a source for agriculture, grazing, fishing and as a place to feed livestock.
Turkana Lake Scenery
However, there are things that are worrying now, where Lake Turkana and its surrounding residents are facing environmental damage. Ethiopia builds the Gibe 3 dam upstream. After completion of this dam, the lake will dry up as happened in the Aral Sea.
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