The world’s largest desert lake and a disappearing way of life

This is part three in a series of three stories that look at forests, trees and how they are used in East Africa.
Lake Turkana, Africa. Photo by Nick Oloo and Kabir Dhanji

At the end of Kenya’s Rift Valley is a massive desert lake. Nestled mainly in the northwestern corner of Kenya, one of Africa’s largest economies, the lake spills across the border into Ethiopia. The area is home to the Turkana, a pastoralist people who gave the alkaline lake its name. The region is dry, with as little as 150 mm of rain annually, about six times less than the capital Nairobi, and is getting drier. Years of drought are forcing the nomadic people to abandon their traditions for a more sedentary lifestyle clustered in villages around the lake where they farm and fish, searching for other economic opportunities, adding to the growing environmental challenges brought on by climate change.

This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.
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