The Ministry of Water has abandoned exploration of the 250 billion cubic meter aquifer in the County, saying it’s economically unviable due to high levels of salinity.
According to the ministry, the water in the Lotikipi aquifer is too saline and the cost of desalination is quite enormous.
Abandoning Turkana aquifer exploration caused by water’s saltiness
“The water at Lotikipi aquifer has high levels of salt that would require desalination before we can use it. However, the cost of this exercise is enormous,” said Water Secretary Samuel Alima.
According to the ministry, the cost Sh50 million a month on power bills alone.
The Turkana underground water was discovered in 2013, with experts announcing that the massive amount of water could provide water for Kenyans for 70 years.
The Turkana water aquifer is equivalent in volume to Lake Turkana one of the largest lakes in the Great Rift Valley, and 25 times greater than Loch Ness in New York.
In 2019, the government was in talks with a Saudi investor to build a desalination plant in the area and make the water drinkable.
Water from Napuu Aquifer that serves Lodwar town and its environs is fresh but the bigger aquifer in Lotikipi and boreholes around Lake Turkana are saline and fluorinated. The news of the government abandoning the project spells doom for the residents of Turkana, who are perennially affected by drought.
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok, The county boss has in the past announced that Turkana Government allocates a bigger percentage of its budget to the provision of water services.