In an investigation conducted by UNESCO in collaboration with the Kenyan government, scientists have found a water reserve in the arid expanses of north west Kenya. The aquifer, which consists of an underground layer of water-harboring minerals, was discovered 300 meters beneath the earth’s surface. The pool has since been named the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer. If managed properly, Lotikipi could nourish the country for the better part of 70 years. This is no little feat in a country that has limited water supply, with half the population unable to access any sanitary water at all.
This discovery may transform the surroundings completely, as once parched land has the potential to be converted into agricultural fields. Perhaps one day becoming fertile pastureland, lush with irrigation. The conversion to farmland, furthermore, means previously nomadic citizens will now be able to settle and find sustenance on a reliable supply of crops and water. This new stability could also provide families with an improved source of income.
The Japan funded search to find water in Kenya has been conducted by satellite, radar, and geological technologies. Aside from Lotikipi, five other reserves have been found in Kenya’s north west corner, with exploratory drilling beginning on two. But none have been as massive as Lotikipi.
To better illustrate just how grandiose the aquifer is, you could fill it with the waters of Loch Ness roughly 25 times. This makes its holding capacity 900% larger than any current water reserve in all of Kenya.
Water will be extracted from the reserves by implementation of a well. And, as distant mountains replenish Lotikipi Basin by way of underground streams, it is highly unlikely Lotikipi should ever dry up. Certainly not within our lifetime. For now, it can serve to alleviate the harsh living conditions, a great deal of which has been marked by water scarcity.
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